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Soft energy paths in Japan: The backcasting approach to energy planning

Suwa, Aki; (2005) Soft energy paths in Japan: The backcasting approach to energy planning. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Climate change is increasingly recognised as a serious threat to the global ecosystem. The international framework, such as the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change provides a main mechanism to harness world-wide commitment for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, to cope with the climate change. Japan is one of the countries which are required to reduce significant amounts of GHG emissions, including C02. The Japanese energy policy is rather fragmented and ineffective in coping with the global climate challenge, and often highly controversial options have been included. Nuclear is, for example, considered by the Japanese government as one of the most important elements to meet its obligation, although there are many doubts over the legitimacy of the option in the light of sustainable development. Against this background, it is critical to review the current energy policy and policy making processes in Japan. This study takes the challenge to propose alternative future visions and to examine their implications in the real policy context. Backcasting methodology, that creates a normative vision and identifies policy path to reach the vision, is identified as a highly relevant conceptual framework to this study. A strategic perspective is applied to the analysis, and the core research quest includes whether the strategic level of discussion between different parties could reduce the policy conflicts and divisions. The study offered four visions and the subsequent policy packages. The detailed policy paths are created to achieve the visions. Two tier evaluation stages are set to validate the policy packages and paths, through communication with selected Japanese energy experts. The study provides an insight as to the effectiveness of the methodology, and the legitimacy of the proposed visions and policy packages. Series of recommendation are made in terms of methodological and policy perspective. In particular, a "policy road map" is proposed as an effective tool to present policy coordination that enables cross strategic and time based policy analysis.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Soft energy paths in Japan: The backcasting approach to energy planning
Identifier: PQ ETD:602762
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1446820
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