Saturday, May 26, 2007

Japan Scenarios towards Low-Carbon Society

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment sponsored this report (PDF) entitled Japan Scenarios towards Low-Carbon Society (LCS).

According to the report, a 70-percent reduction in emissions can be achieved by reducing energy demand by 40 to 45 percent and by introducing low-carbon energy supplies. The energy demand-side emission reduction can be accomplished by a decrease in demand due to a shrinking population scenario, smarter energy use, and improvements in energy efficiency, while allowing energy demand to grow in some sectors.

I found it a very interesting read, since it accurately captures the current state of Japanese society and the problems the country faces. A large percentage of my translation work is for companies that are heavily engaged in trying to eke out a living with more expensive energy costs and tightening emissions regimes.

The divide between the Fast Life (Scenario A) and Slow Life (Scenario B) can be seen developing rapidly in actual fact, as I expect it will in other countries. It appears that we're in the vanguard of Scenario B;

More people migrate from urban to rural areas due to increasing attractiveness of agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries. In addition to permanent farmers, increasing numbers of families enjoy secure food supply and healthy life-styles in rural areas while pursuing businesses in the pattern of Small Office Home Office (SOHO).
Scenario B seems to be the better one as it reduces CO2 emissions faster, uses less concrete of which Japan has already poured enough if appearances are anything to go by, and is obviously more fun.

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