NRI Papers
No.139 February 1 , 2009
  Corporate Management Reforms in Pursuit of a Low-Carbon Society  
Hironori SHINANO
   Discussions are already underway regarding the setting of mid- and long-term goals for climate change policy under an international framework after 2012 (after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol). This means that we are approaching a time when the further strengthening of restrictions on CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions will change the factors that determine a company's competitive edge.
   Accelerated moves are seen both in Japan and overseas in studying how to attain these mid- and long-term goals. In the fall of 2008, Japan, which had been lagging behind the US and Europe in their introduction or consideration of an emissions trading program, began full-scale activities toward drawing up specific laws and regulations, such as the trial implementation of an emissions trading scheme and studies on the introduction of environmental taxation.
   The introduction of an emissions trading scheme will present many risks to a company. This is because there are concerns that the allocation of CO2 emissions allowances might act as a hindrance to business operations, cause a company to lose its vitality and deprive it of its competitive edge. Each company must adopt measures that can best respond to these risks.
   We are approaching a time in which reforms in corporate management are necessary toward achieving the goal of a low-carbon society (where economic growth is achieved with low CO2 emissions). Specific measures as part of such reforms will include the transition to a low-carbon business model and integrated CO2 management. Japanese companies are expected to take the lead in these moves toward a worldwide low-carbon society.
Contents
I Paradigm Shift Brought about by CO2 Restrictions
II CO2 Restrictions Become Stricter Both in Japan and Overseas
III Risks to Companies Associated with CO2 Restrictions
IV Corporate Management Reforms in Pursuit of a Low-Carbon Society

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