The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has put together an estimate showing that the materials industry, including steel and chemical producers, will need to shoulder more than 20 trillion yen in order to achieve the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The estimate will be included in the decarbonization strategy framework for the materials industry to be announced by METI. The Japanese government will support not only research and development but also capital investment and implementation of decarbonization efforts. METI will propose enhancing government support of decarbonization with a view to increasing the 2-trillion yen decarbonziation fund.
METI will unveil the outline of the “new vision for the materials industry” at a meeting of the Industrial Structure Council, a METI advisory body. The vision will be included in the clean energy strategy that the government will formulate in June 2022.
The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by the materials industry during manufacturing are among the highest in Japan’s industrial sector. According to the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), the emissions produced by the materials industry accounted for 80% of all industrial emissions in FY2020, totaling 250 million tons. The steel and chemical industries accounted for 40% and 20% of total emissions, respectively.
METI’s estimate shows that the total cost of decarbonization up to 2050 will exceed 20 trillion yen for the materials industry based on industry association estimates. METI estimated that the decarbonization costs for steel, chemicals, cement, and papermaking, including those for research and development, implementation, and capital investment, will be 10 trillion yen, 7.4 trillion yen, 4.2 trillion yen, and 2.4 trillion yen, respectively. (Abridged)