October 21, 2022
METI official calls for funding decarbonization and growth
DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INDUSTRIAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY POLICY, ENVIRONMENT BUREAU, MINISTRY OF ECONOMY, TRADE AND INDUSTRY
In his address as an honored guest, Yojiro Hatakeyama, the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s director-general of industrial science and technology policy in the Environment Bureau, said he aims to both solve environmental issues and achieve economic growth at the same time and put effort into developing a public-private environment that encourages the provision of funds for that purpose.
The Japanese government has pledged to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 46% from fiscal 2013 levels by 2030 as part of its goal of making Japan carbon neutral by 2050. Measures to combat climate change have become an important issue for the global community. Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) investing has grown to total about $35 trillion globally.
“Some companies are actively working to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and are attracting ESG funds and achieving growth,” he said. “It is very important for this model to become the norm.”
In Japan, combined public- and private-sector investment totaling about ¥150 trillion ($1 trillion) is estimated to be necessary over the next decade.
As examples of efforts to develop a public-private environment that encourages the provision of funds required for reducing carbon emissions, along with ESG investing, Hatakeyama cited “designing of guidance regarding the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ recommendations,” “promotion of active disclosure by organizing summits where issues in putting TCFD recommendations into practice are discussed” and “promotion of transition finance to help high-carbon companies achieve both decarbonization and growth.”
“In order to make economic society as a whole sustainable, we need to drastically alter business models or behaviors of each and every citizen,” he said.
“The key is to create a system under which sustainable efforts are evaluated appropriately,” Hatakeyama said. “In that sense, the Sustainable Japan Award will play an important role.”
He expressed hope that the award event will help accelerate efforts and investments in this area.