Rethinking U.S.-Japan Relations through Policies on Decarbonization

Leading up to the 26th United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP26), both Japan and the United States laid out ambitious goals to achieve net zero for their respective economies. Notably, Japan is taking substantial steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years, with a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The United States has been a longtime partner of Japan and is recently recommitted to the Paris Agreement, with President Biden striving for a carbon free power sector by 2035 and a net zero emissions economy by 2050. 

In this Asia Insight discussion moderated by NBR nonresident fellow Clare Richardson-Barlow, we aim to analyze these goals by rethinking policy approaches to decarbonization across political administrations in the United States and Japan. As two of the largest emitters in the world, Japan and the United States have significant challenges to address over the next three decades to achieve their respective net zero goals. However, this also presents a range of opportunities for both countries to increase collaboration through research, investment, and knowledge sharing.

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