National Geographic

Update on Tokyo: Year two results from the world’s first urban cap-and-trade program

On January 21, 2013, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced the results from the second year of its cap-and-trade program. Reports submitted from 934 facilities to the end of November 2012 show a further 10% emission reduction from reporting facilities below the year-one (2010) figures, bringing the second year total to an overall 23% emission reduction below the base-year emissions. In real terms, emissions from the reporting facilities dropped to 7.22 million tonnes of CO2. These figures illustrate the progress that continues to be made beyond the compelling results demonstrated in the first year of the program (reported on the C40 blog here).

In terms of overall compliance with the two commitment periods required by the program (2010-2014 and 2015-2019), Tokyo reports that following the 2011 results, 93% of required facilities have now met the first compliance factor and 70% of those facilities have already met the target to 2019.

In addition to the substantial emission reduction targets being achieved by covered facilities, important lessons are also being learned on the corollary benefits of implementing such a program with stakeholders in Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan Governmentsurveyed property owners of buildings obliged to comply with the cap-and-trade program and has heard about the additional benefits of the cap-and-trade program. For example, following the earthquake in eastern Japan on March 11, 2011, which resulted in electricity shortages in Tokyo, building owners reported that their ability to curb electricity consumption and to work with tenants to satisfy demand was a more smooth process because the structure for owners and tenants to work cooperatively had already been established by to the cap-and-trade program. In another example, the owner of an industrial building subject to the cap-and-trade program reported greater certainty in calculating electricity savings from retrofit measures because of the equipment list and project examples that has been built-up as part of the cap-and-trade program.