Japan’s green growth strategy aims to cut petrol-powered vehicles in 15 years

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Japan is aiming to attain net-zero carbon emission and to generate about $2 trillion a year in green growth by 2050, the government explained its plan in a statement, as part of which the country is targeting to completely wipe-out petrol-powered vehicles in the next 15 years.

In October, the prime minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga had pledged to eliminate carbon emissions on a net basis by 2050 and to achieve this, the green growth strategy has been drawn out focusing on the hydrogen and auto industries.

“The government has set up ambitious targets to achieve a carbon-neutral society in 2050. Making clear goals and policy direction in the green growth strategy will give incentives for companies to invest in future technology,” said Yukari Takamura, professor at the University of Tokyo.

In an aim to restore the Japanese economy from the pandemic driven crisis and to push the country into line with the European Union, China and other economies that are putting forward emissions targets, Mr.Suga has initiated plans prioritizing green investment.

The Japanese government has offered to give tax incentives and other financial support to companies, targeting $870 billion a year in additional economic growth through green investment and sales by 2030 and $1.8 trillion by 2050. The country has formulated a $1.9 trillion worth of green fund to back corporate investment in green technology.

Under the green growth strategy, the country seeks to fully replace the sale of new petrol-powered vehicles with electric vehicles, including hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, by the mid-2030s and to ease this move, the government is planning to cut the cost of vehicle batteries by more than half to $96.6 or less per kilowatt-hour.

With this strategy, Japan is looking to boost hydrogen consumption to 3 million tonnes by 2030 and to about 20 million tonnes by 2050, in areas like power generation and transportation. It further identifies 14 industries including offshore wind and fuel ammonia.

By 2050, the country is aiming to utilize renewable energy as much as possible especially through off-shore wind farms, with a goal of renewable energy sources accounting for 50 percent to 60 percent of the nation’s power, while reducing its nuclear power dependency.