The Just Transition in Japan: Awareness and desires for the future

Chapman, A.; McLellan, B.; Mabon, L.; Yap, J.; Karmaker, S. C. and Sen, K. K. (2023). The Just Transition in Japan: Awareness and desires for the future. Energy Research & Social Science, 103, article no. 103228.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2023.103228

Abstract

As with many advanced economies, Japan is currently undergoing an energy transition, aiming to deploy the maximum amount of renewable energy in order to reduce reliance on energy imports from abroad. Ideally, this transition will not only increase energy security for Japan, but will also improve the living standards of its people and be representative of a ‘just’ transition. In order to determine the nature of the Japanese energy transition, it is important to recognize the awareness of concepts such as the Just Transition, and to understand people's desires for the future. This research investigates the relationship between these factors, i.e., uncovering whether or not awareness of the Just Transition concept affects peoples desired outcomes, personal behaviors or preferences toward energy policies which engender a transition. Here we analyze a large sample survey (n = 6000) of the Japanese public to understand desires, behaviors and preferences, to attempt to extract policy implications and effective strategies to promote desirable behaviors which promote a Just Transition. Our results show that demographics impact upon Just Transition knowledge levels, and that these knowledge levels themselves then impact upon propensity to undertake desirable behaviors, or to allow for the deployment of conducive technologies at the local or regional level. A greater level of understanding of the concept of a Just Transition, perhaps via targeted education may help to align people's behavior, desires and expectations toward the development of a fairer future energy system in Japan and more broadly for other advanced economies.

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