Evaluation system planned to speed up, reward regional decarbonization efforts

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Solar power generation panels are seen at the municipal government building of Arao, Kumamoto Prefecture, in July 2020.

The government will introduce a system for evaluating the performance of efforts aimed at realizing decarbonization by fiscal 2030 in 100 regions around the country designated as pilot zones, according to a government road map approved on June 9.

The road map, officially approved by a government council chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, compiles measures to be taken by the central and local governments to realize a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The evaluation system is one of the two main pillars of the road map. The pilot regional areas will be evaluated every fiscal year on such factors as how much greenhouse gases were cut, and will reward those achieving outstanding results. The system is aimed to help accelerate decarbonization efforts by highlighting leading examples.

As another pillar, the road map also stipulates that a framework be established to prod local governments and other entities through financial support over multiple fiscal years. The government will promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, an approach in which investors put more weight on companies’ commitments to environmental and social issues.

Local governments will also be supported through such measures as dispatching more experts on renewable energy, and providing training for local government heads and civil servants to teach specific measures aimed at decarbonization.

The road map also stipulates a goal of installing solar power generation panels on 50% of public buildings and land that can accommodate such equipment by 2030, with a 100% goal by 2040.

The government will select more than 100 locations nationwide as pilot zones for decarbonization, with an aim to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in regard to electricity consumption by households and businesses.