JP-9:Keidanren Commitment to Low Carbon Society

Policy Description



As one of the largest industry bodies in Japan (mainly representing major energy-intensive industries) Keidanren has played an active role in implementing voluntary measures to control GHG emissions from industry. As a follow up to their “Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment” initiative (JP-1) Keidanren launched a new action plan in January 2013 called “the Commitment to Low Carbon Society” [1].

This plan has four key elements:

  1. Establishing numerical CO2 reduction targets for domestic business operations by individual sectors by 2020;

Japanese industry has been extremely successful, through its Voluntary Action Plan, to become energy efficient and adopt the best available technologies (BAT) in various sectors. In this new plan, Keidanren will set numerical CO2 reduction targets for the year 2020 based on international comparisons of energy efficiency for each industrial sector. It will be assumed that BAT will be implemented whenever new facilities are built or existing facilities are updated. Targets will be expressed in CO2 emissions intensity or as CO2 emissions. Actions envisioned include efforts by the chemical and petrochemical sectors to ensure that key processes like ethylene plants, caustic soda production facilities, and steam generation equipment adopt the range of cutting-edge technologies already in use on a commercial scale. The steel sector could adopt next-generation coke-making technology and other technologies when updating their manufacturing facilities.

  1. Strengthening cooperation with stakeholders (consumers, employees and customers);

Under this pillar various measures are envisioned including making efforts to expand the market penetration of energy-saving appliances, household fuel cells, fuel-efficient automobiles, and next-generation vehicles.

  1. Contributing to global emission reductions through technology transfer to developing countries as well as private-led international corporation initiatives including setting up bilateral joint ventures,

Industries are expected to use offset mechanisms to introduce cutting-edge, energy-saving technologies for steel and cement production in developing countries, especially China and India. Participation in Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP)  and other international efforts to provide support to developing countries is encouraged.

  1. Active collaboration with academia, and research excellence to drive innovative technology development that facilitates the accomplishment of reducing global GHG emissions by half by 2050.

Participation in initiatives like COURSE50, research and development on clean coal technologies, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies, ultra-high-efficiency heat pumps, and other undertakings in technology development with a focus on both the supply and demand sides of electricity systems and environmental conservation are foreseen under this pillar.

To ensure credibility and transparency, this plan builds further on the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle (PDCA Cycle) formulated as part of Keidanren’s Voluntary Action Plan.

As part of improving the PDCA Cycle, an Evaluation Committee (set up in 2012) is responsible for undertaking assessments and verifications of action plans, progress made and makes its findings available in annual reports. This Committee has been expanded from seven members to ten members to include participation from media, NGOs and labour unions. To improve transparency, industry’s action plans and progress are to be made available publicly through websites.

Participating industries make revisions to their Action Plans based on the findings of the Evaluation Committee’s assessments and verifications. In the event a participating industry is capable of adopting new BATs or is likely to surpass its initial reduction targets, it will explore the possibility of raising its targeted reduction levels.

In 2016, action plans will be reviewed to highlight efforts made during the period 2013 to 2015.

Over 40 industries and/or companies have either developed their Action Plan or have expressed an interest in doing so [1]. 

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Administrative, Voluntary Agreement

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Voluntary


Start Date: 2013

Agencies Responsible

Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)

Primary Objective: GHG Emissions


Help halve GHG emissions by 2050 Assist in meeting Japan’s domestic emission reduction target by 2020 (this is in flux since the Government is currently undergoing a review of their international 2020 target)

Target Group

Members of Keidanren

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Total emissions and Carbon intensity

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.


Over 40 industries and/or companies have either developed their Action Plan or have expressed an interest in doing so [1].

Quantitative Target? yes

Target: CO2 emissions or CO2 intensity target

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? yes

Enforced? no

Sanctions: None

Requirements on the Target Group

Development of an Action Plan 

Support by Government


Implementation Toolbox

Developing an action plan by companies and businesses with numerical targets.

Complexity of Implementation


The program is implemented by Keidanren, the Japanese Business Federation and is voluntary

Target Group

Japanese industries have been actively involved in reducing GHG emissions and implementing energy efficient technologies through JP-1. However, since most of the energy savings have already been captured (i.e. low hanging fruit has been captured), implementation of this policy can be reasonably complex since it primarily involves adopting new technologies domestically and transferring technologies and support to developing countries.

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions Not available Not available
Estimated costs/benefits for industry Not available
Estimated cost for government Not available

References & Footnotes


[1] Keidanren (2013). Keidanren’s Commitment to a Low Carbon Society. Available at http://www.keidanren.or.jp/en/policy/2013/003_commitment.pdf