Message from Chairman
As the second quarter of 2021 has started, the world is still under the great impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, COVID-19 vaccination is making progress in a considerable number of countries. The International Monetary Fund has revised its global economic growth projection upward by 0.5 percentage points to 6.0% for the year. This will have great influence on global energy supply and demand as a matter of course.
Meanwhile, a series of international conferences on climate change –started in a run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, in November 2021.
In Japan, efforts to formulate the sixth Strategic Energy Plan are gaining momentum. The efforts include the development of a few scenarios for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and the revision of nationally determined contributions including a greenhouse gas emission reduction target for FY2030.
In discussions on an energy mix in Japan, hydrogen, ammonia, carbon recycling and other technologies to decarbonize fossil fuels are drawing attention in addition to traditional zero-carbon energy sources such as renewable energy and nuclear.
While energy is crucial infrastructure for economic activities, Japan is a very energy-poor country as indicated by its energy self-sufficiency rate as low as 12% as estimated for the end of FY2020, or March 2021. Securing stable energy supply at reasonable prices is a basic premise for Japan’s economic development. Japan is also required to take adequate measures for preventing global warming. The so-called 3Es plus S – energy security, economic efficiency and environmental conservation plus safety as a lesson learned from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident – represent a common challenge for Japan, other Asian countries and the rest of the world. In the international community featuring deepening interdependence between countries, trends in Japan and other Asian countries are exerting great influence on the entire world. Even if the 3Es plus S represent a common challenge for all countries in the world, the optimum energy mix differs by country. This is because energy endowment, economic, social and other conditions differ from country to country.
Our institute has established a strong presence in Japan and in the world by providing objective factual analyses and adequate policy recommendations based on future energy and environmental outlooks to meet the needs of the times. We are determined to make steady efforts to find optimum solutions contributing to economic growth by taking advantage of our close networks with Japanese and other governments, industry groups, experts, research organizations and others and by viewing energy and climate change issues as two sides of the same coin. We provide our research analyses and policy recommendations to timely contribute to policymaking and business strategy developments. Particularly, we publish the analyses on current challenges in July, the annual long-term IEEJ Outlook in October for providing medium to long-term policy messages to Asia and the world, and the annual short-term energy outlook in December for the coming year and beyond. We believe that these publications are useful for better understanding of the uncertain energy situation and for the formulation of future policies and strategies.
In its 55th year, our institute will further enhance its research and policy/strategy recommendations, while envisioning medium to long-term structural changes in the energy situation. We would appreciate your continuous support.
Chairman & CEO
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
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