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METI starts discussions on carbon pricing

  • February 17, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 11:45 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry started Wednesday full-fledged discussions on “carbon pricing” measures to have companies and individuals to pay for greenhouse gases they emit, by holding the first meeting of a study panel.


The panel is scheduled to sort out issues in summer and wrap up the discussions by the end of this year, hoping to pave the way for Japan to realize carbon neutrality by 2050 as declared by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.


Specifically, members will discuss merits and demerits of taxing emissions, introducing a carbon cap-and-trade scheme to allow emission quota purchases and imposing “carbon border adjustment measures,” or carbon tariffs, on imports from countries with insufficient measures against global warming.


At the meeting, a member from the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry opposed introduction of any system that forces businesses to shoulder additional burdens.


But one expert called for a shift to a competitive industrial structure so that companies can bear such additional burdens.


Officials of the ministry, which serves as the secretariat of the panel, said discussions will cover not only a carbon tax and the cap-and-trade system but border adjustment measures and carbon credit trading. They also noted that the facets of stable energy supplies and energy security should be taken into account as well.


Late last year, Suga instructed the METI and the Environment Ministry to start examining carbon pricing ideas.


The Environment Ministry, which resumed its discussions earlier this month, aims to implement stringent measures to cut emissions, while the METI is eager to minimize burdens on businesses and individuals.


Amid increasing international calls for boosting measures against global warming, the focal point will be whether the Suga administration can come up with effective steps while minimizing burdens, critics said.

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