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- Author: Shizuka Oshitani x
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This book attempts a systematic comparison of Japanese and British climate policy and politics. Focusing on institutional contrasts between Japan and Britain in terms of corporatist or pluralist characteristics of government-industry relations and decision-making and implementation styles, it examines how and to what extent institutions explain climate policy in the two countries. In doing this, the book explores how climate policy is shaped by the interplay of nationally specific institutional factors and universal constraints on actors, which emanate from characteristics of the global warming problem itself. It also considers how corporatist institutional characteristics may make a difference in attaining sustainable development. Overall, the book provides a set of comparisons of climate policy and new frameworks of analysis, which could be built on in future research on cross-national climate policy analysis.
This book explores how Japan and Britain responded in the face of the common policy imperative of tackling global warming. It considers two theoretical perspectives. One is the institutional approach, which emphasises the importance of national institutions in shaping politics and policy. The other is the issue-based approach, which emphasises the constraints inherent in an issue that fall on rational actors regardless of the institutions in which they are operating. Rather than examining which approach is right or better, the book combines the two in analysing Japanese and British policies on global warming and to explore the relationships between the two approaches, and hence the role of institutions in explaining politics and policy. It also explores four aspects of environmental policy: the speed of policy change; the content of policy, including the choice of policy instruments; the degree of integration of global warming concerns into the policy areas of energy and transport; and policy stringency. Moreover, it discusses the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, consensus corporatism and majoritarian pluralism, and styles of environmental policy-making in Japan and Britain.
This chapter gives a brief overview of: the nature of the problem of global warming; the international political responses to the scientific developments; and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). Grasping the nature of the problem is an important first step towards understanding national policy and policy developments, since any problem poses a certain set of constraints on the choices of rational and strategic policy-makers. Nor can we afford to overlook international political developments when we examine transboundary problems, which inevitably erode the political significance of national territory. The chapter first looks at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the science of global warming, discusses the greenhouse effect, and examines international political developments on climate change. It then considers key developments after the third Conference of Parties and the implementation of the FCCC.
Global warming policies in Japan and Britain exhibit both similarities and differences. Drawing on G. P. Freeman's contrast between the ‘national style approach’ and the ‘policy sector approach’, this chapter focuses on two strands of the literature. One is (new) institutionalism and the other is the ‘policy determines politics’ school, or what is known as the ‘issue-based approach’. The institutional approach looks at different characters of national institutions and predicts policy differences; the issue-based approach looks at the constraints on rational actors arising from the attributes of a policy issue and implies cross-national policy similarities. The discussion of institutionalism is linked with the literature on corporatism, here understood as describing a form of institution that can be contrasted with non-corporatism, or pluralism. In this study, Japan is seen as having important institutional characteristics of corporatism in terms of analysing environmental policy, and Britain those of pluralism. The chapter also looks at four aspects of policy: the speed of policy change, policy content, the degree of policy integration, and policy stringency.
This chapter gives background information on policy-making to tackle the global warming problem in Japan and Britain. It has already been mentioned that Japan could be considered corporatist and Britain pluralist in terms of government-industry relations, patterns of interest representation, and the norm of decision-making. The chapter explains how these differences are actually reflected in the traditionally dominant environmental policy styles of the two countries. It considers those industrial structural contexts that have important implications for the politics of global warming. It first describes policy styles and environmental politics in Japan, focusing on consensus, concertation, and developmentalism. It then discusses pitfalls in environmental policy in Japan, consultation as well as science and reactivism in Britain, and the main actors who are either very concerned about or very committed to the policy of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Carbon dioxide accounts for about 90 per cent of greenhouse emissions in Japan, and about 90 per cent of these carbon dioxide emissions stem from energy-related sources. The historical growth in these emissions is due largely to the growth in energy demand rather than the pattern of use of fossil fuels. This chapter examines policy developments in Japan on global warming, focusing on the politics of conflict and the producer-oriented policy response. After providing an overview on the emergence of global warming on the Japanese political agenda, the chapter discusses the policy of target-setting in carbon dioxide control, differences in opinion between the Environment Agency and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, progress after the Earth Summit, the Japanese strategy to tackle global warming, Japan's energy efficiency policy, policy frameworks for the promotion of new energy, voluntary action of Japanese industry in the conservation of global environment, and environment taxes.
To the extent that the problem of global warming arises from existing socio-economic activities, tackling it will entail an institutional metamorphosis towards a more sustainable form of socio-economic system. This will require a realignment of broad policy goals, which itself may require changes in policy-making institutions. Such changes have been referred to as policy integration, which is the theme of this chapter. The integration of environmental concerns into general economic policy in Japan started around the time of the Earth Summit in 1992. This chapter looks at policy integration specifically in the areas of global warming and energy and transportation, focusing on whether and how global warming policy caused policy and institutional developments. It first provides a background on Japanese energy policy, energy efficiency policy, electricity prices and demand, and the promotion of ‘new energy’. It then explores Japan's nuclear energy policy, energy taxation and finance, coal and global warming, transport and global warming, fuel efficiency, concerted action for the promotion of low-emission vehicles, and policy co-optation and exclusion of environmental interests.
About 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Britain are in the form of carbon dioxide, of which about 97 per cent is energy-related. Overall carbon dioxide emissions fell steadily from 1970. After 1997, however, carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector consistently exceeded those from the domestic sector and in 2002 they exceeded those from the industrial sector. British emissions of carbon dioxide have been largely determined by the use of coal and their long-term decline is basically explained by the rapid decline in the use of coal. This chapter examines the emergence of global warming on the British political agenda, carbon dioxide reduction targets, national strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, value added tax on domestic fuel and power, increases in fuel duties, the Energy Saving Trust, the encouragement of voluntary action, regulations and labelling schemes, targets for combined heat and power and renewable energy, and the politics of a carbon/energy tax.
Britain has sought to integrate environmental concerns into policy decision-making at all levels. To this end, the first environment white paper introduced two institutions which would ‘ensure that … environmental issues are fully weighed in decisions’. One was the Cabinet Committee for the Environment, later replaced by the Ministerial Committee on the Environment. The other was the introduction of a ‘green minister’ in each government department. In the first white paper on sustainable development, published in 1994, the government confirmed its commitment to policy integration. How and to what extent was this government aspiration achieved over the problem of global warming? This chapter focuses on British policy integration on global warming by first providing an overview on energy policy and global warming, competitive prices versus energy efficiency, renewable energy, and coal protection. It then discusses transport policy and global warming, measures to improve fuel efficiency, and research and development on low-emission vehicles.
Since 1988, Japan and Britain have responded to the common threat of global warming. Both countries voluntarily established a policy to tackle the problem before the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Once it was established, they developed and implemented policies and measures to meet its requirements as well as the goals they set for themselves. The picture that emerges from the present detailed examination of climate policy in Japan and Britain is a mixture of policy similarities and differences. This chapter compares, contrasts, and analyses Japanese and British global warming policy, focusing on the speed of policy change, policy contents including instruments employed, the degree of policy integration, and policy stringency. It then considers two questions: What is the effect of corporatist institutions on a country's ability to tackle challenges to sustainable development? What are the interactions between the institutional and issue-based approaches? The chapter also discusses Britain's measures for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the politics of carbon tax, consensus corporatism and majoritarian pluralism, and the institutional approach vs. the issue-based approach.