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Japan

日本

Core analysis conducted in August 2021.

Overall NDC Equity Score

Critically Deficient

+

Emissions Reductions

Average

The NDC meets basic expectations in emissions reductions, but is still not ambitious enough.

+

Gender Justice

Critically Deficient

The NDC has significant gaps in addressing gender mainstreaming, potentially not including gender at all.

+

Youth Inclusion

Critically Deficient

The NDC has significant gaps in addressing youth inclusion, potentially not addressing young people at all.

Summary

National Determined Contributions (NDCs) serve as a central component to the stipulations agreed upon by United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) parties at COP21 in Paris. This research analyzed Japan’s NDC since the Paris Agreement through an intersectional and feminist framework. This analysis centered on climate justice and equity to assess the areas of Japan’s NDC that require improvements to achieve net-zero and improve areas of gender equality and justice in the country. The analysis found that while emission reduction targets have steadily increased from 2015 to 2020, emission targets and the proposed energy plan raise concerns over their realistic ability to meet international targets of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, the lack of acknowledgement over the gendered and social implications of the climate crisis in Japan’s NDC underscores the lacking ability to develop multidimensional mitigation strategies that will need to be implemented to fully become a decarbonized society. The focus of women and girls as climate-vulnerable groups, and as capable actors in the policymaking space are not mentioned in any part of Japan’s NDC. Moving forward, this demands a robust plan integrate gender and youth advocates, women’s groups, and civil societies focused on gender equity in Japan to participate in shaping forthcoming NDCs as well as monitoring mechanisms to ensure that gender-responsive climate actions are truly implemented.

Highlights

  • Increases ambition in their emission reduction target from 26% to 46%.
  • Recognizes its intention to transition to a decarbonized society.
  • Commits to reshaping of heavy-emitting sectors, like energy and industrial sector.

Lowlights

  • There is an absence of discussion of gender equity and social inclusion in climate mitigation plans.
  • Current analyses of Japan’s climate ambitions are still lagging behind countries with similar emissions.

Key Recommendations

This analysis found that there is no emphasis on the importance of youth and there is only a single reference to gender responsiveness in Thailand’s NDC. Despite having existing mechanisms for gender mainstreaming and youth development, integrating gender perspectives, and supporting youth engagement in the climate policy has encountered a number of hurdles that are largely a result of political and cultural barriers. Consequently, this token effort

creates doubt on the potential for transformational changes such as the implementation of inclusive climate policy and reducing inequalities. The following are key recommendations to the National Committee on Climate Change Policy, the NAP’s key six sectors, the Ministry of Education, and MSDHS for the improvement of future NDCs and other national climate plans:


For Gender Justice

  • Examine the efficacy of women’s integration in climate policy
  • Determine whether opportunities for women in a greener and decarbonized workforce have improved
  • Greater attention to gender-responsive budgeting in mitigation strategies as well as greater inclusion of civil societies advocating for marginalized communities in Japan.
  • Collect gender-disaggregated data on sectoral workforces, such as the energy sector and environmental policy sector

For Youth Inclusion

  • Include youth as technical actors in the shaping of the NDC.
  • Acknowledgement of the social ramifications of the climate crisis on youth.
  • Establish a youth and advocacy-driven M&E process for NDC implementation

Author

Mayumi Sato

NDC Ambassador Mayumi Sato (she/her) is a human rights and climate policy researcher, journalist, and Ph.D. student and Gates Cambridge scholar based in the UK. She has several years of experience working in the field with climate-vulnerable and war and conflict-affected groups, including Syrian refugees in Canada, Indigenous hill tribes in Thailand, trafficked fishermen from Indonesia, and timber processing SMEs in Lao PDR. Mayumi has been involved in Ministerial-level climate policy discussions on reforestation, illegal logging, and gender and social inclusion. She has been awarded by agencies and organizations like the UN, Peace First, and Ministries of Environment, among others, for her work on gender, racial, and climate justice and has conducted research on FLEGT VPAs, racial injustices in carceral institutions, and older people’s rights in low-income and middle-income countries. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, photography, and running her educational and social justice organization, The Solidarity Library.

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