MarketWatch: Japan Faces $500 Billion Carbon Reduction Price Tag

     Concerned about the pending climate crisis and think the United States needs to be more proactive? Well, you might be more concerned about your wallet if American politicians decide to emulate Japanese carbon dioxide regulations.


     John Letzing reported on March 18 that meeting Japanese carbon reduction goals – 11 percent down by 2020 – will cost Japanese consumers and businesses a whopping 52 trillion yen, about $500 billion. Letzing’s story cited a report from the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.


     “The $500 billion anticipated cost for emissions-reducing technologies is expected to be split roughly equally between businesses and households, the Nikkei report said,” Letzing wrote. “Costs for businesses include switching to more efficient lighting, while costs for households include the purchase of solar panels and upgrading to energy-efficient vehicles, the report said.”


     If similar Kyoto-esque climate change regulations were signed into law in the United States, the total cost could be much more staggering. The United States is roughly 26 times the size of Japan in land area, creating the potential for much larger transportation needs. The U.S. economy is worth $13.79 trillion versus a $4.34 trillion Japanese economy. And, there are 301 million people in the United States, compared to only 127 million Japanese.


     Under the Kyoto Protocol, the bar would have been set much higher for the United States than Japan for carbon emission reduction. The United States would be expected to reduce its carbon emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels. According the MarketWatch article, this $500 billion price tag associated with the Japanese targets only represents a 4 percent reduction below 1990 levels.


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