Tokyo, June 8 (Jiji Press)–The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, said Monday that a total of 137 companies and organizations have announced their participation in its initiative to realize a net-zero carbon society.
Declaring a goal of realizing a carbon-free society through innovation, the participants will report to Keidanren specific programs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to effectively zero.
Among them, the steel industry has set a target of realizing a technology as early as 2050 to make steel by utilizing hydrogen without relying on coal.
Keidanren aims to create “a big movement” toward a carbon-free society, Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of Japan’s largest business lobby, told a press conference.
He expressed hope that Keidanren will discuss necessary policy measures with the government.
Participants from the carbon-heavy steel industry include Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> and JFE Holdings Inc. <5411>.
On the utilization of hydrogen, Toyota Motor Corp. <7203> unveiled plans to accelerate the development of technologies related to fuel cell vehicles emitting only water.
If the utilization of hydrogen gains momentum across industry boundaries, procurement costs, a key to its widespread use, would be reduced, said a Japan Iron and Steel Federation official.
Among financial institutions joining the initiative, Japan’s three megabank groups have set a policy of promoting ESG investment with consideration of environmental, social and corporate governance factors.
Of the three, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. <8306> said it aims to provide funds totaling 8 trillion yen in the environmental field in fiscal 2019-2030.
At the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP25, in Spain last year, Japan was criticized by nonprofit organizations for failing to actively take measures to stop global warming.
Against this background, Keidanren will create an English version of a website listing companies and their efforts to address global warming.