Tucked into the tail end of the decade was Friday’s release of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy,” which unveils a blueprint for achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
In the strategy, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government states that it recognizes a climate crisis and that the city “will implement concrete policies and effective measures,” such as making all buildings in Tokyo zero-emissions buildings and making all cars driven here completely carbon-free by the middle of the century.
The road map also sets a midterm target of 2030 for having 30 percent of Tokyo’s energy generated by renewable sources, bolstered by the installation of 1.3 gigawatts of solar power equipment (equivalent to the energy consumed by around a million households each year) by the end of the 2020s.
Other midterm targets include a 25 percent reduction in single-use plastics by 2030 — part of a national target — a 50 percent reduction in food waste compared with 2000, the installation of 1,000 high-speed charging stations for electric vehicles, and the construction of 150 hydrogen charging stations.
With these measures, the city aims to help limit the rise in the world’s average global temperature to 1.5 degrees C by reducing its own contributions to climate change. Tokyo first declared it would seek to become “Zero Emission Tokyo” at the Urban 20 Tokyo Mayors Summit in May.
It also “calls for the understanding and cooperation of all of Tokyo’s citizens” in doing so. This recognition of a climate emergency follows similar declarations by Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture in September and by Nagano Prefecture earlier this month.
The strategy acknowledges the impacts of weather-related disasters on both a global and nationwide scale, in particular highlighting the 2018 floods in western Japan, which caused ¥1.158 trillion in damage; the 95,000 cases of heat-related illnesses last year; and more recently the 90,000 homes damaged by Typhoon Hagibis in October.
Tokyo is home to almost 13.4 million people, and contributes nearly 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. The metropolitan government oversees Tokyo’s 23 wards as well as various outlying municipalities.
The PDF (English) for the Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy can be found online at www.kankyo.metro.tokyo.jp/en/about_us/zero_emission_tokyo/strategy.files/Zero_Emission_Tokyo_Strategy.pdf