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Global warming policy in Japan and Britain

Global warming policy in Japan and Britain: Interactions between institutions and issue characteristics

Shizuka Oshitani
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    Global warming policy in Japan and Britain
    Book Description:

    This is the first book to attempt a systematic comparison of Japanese and British climate policy and politics. Focusing on institutional contrasts between Japan and Britain in terms of corporatist or pluralist characteristics of government-industry relations and decision-making and implementation styles, the book examines how and to what extent institutions explain climate policy in Japan and Britain. In doing this, the book explores how climate policy is shaped by the interplay of nationally specific institutional factors and universal constraints on actors, which emanate from characteristics of the global warming problem itself. It also considers how corporatist institutional characteristics may make a difference in attaining sustainable development. Overall this book provides a new set of comparison of climate policy and new frameworks of analysis, which could be built on in future research on cross-national climate policy analysis.

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-228-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. vi-vii)
  4. List of tables
    (pp. viii-ix)
  5. List of boxes
    (pp. x-x)
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xi)
  7. List of abbreviations
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  8. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    In 1987, in Bellagio, Italy, the possible problem of global warming was discussed for the first time at thepoliticallevel since the notion of the human-induced greenhouse effect was suggested at the end of the nineteenth century. Then, after only two years of extensive diplomatic negotiations, more than 150 world leaders signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro (the Earth Summit or Rio Summit) in 1992.

    The significance of the Convention goes beyond the fact that the world agreed to cooperate to tackle the...

  9. 2 Science and the international politics of global warming
    (pp. 12-36)

    This chapter gives a brief overview of: the nature of the problem of global warming; the international political responses to the scientific developments; and the international regime on global warming, the United Nations FCCC.¹ Grasping the nature of the problem is an important first step towards understanding national policy and policy developments, since any problem poses a certain set of constraints on the choices of rational and strategic policymakers. Nor can we afford to overlook international political developments when we examine transboundary problems, which inevitably erode the political significance of national territory.

    The state-of-the-art scientific knowledge of global warming has...

  10. 3 Frameworks of analysis: the institutional approach and the issue-based approach
    (pp. 37-63)

    As the subsequent chapters show, global warming policies in Japan and Britain exhibit both similarities and differences. Both governments were initially reluctant to take action; however, over time they changed their policy to meet international demands, and apparently took very different stances on the international stage. Although the contents of their policies and measures were different, the two countries behaved in a similar way in relation to certain aspects of policy. The questions to be asked are:

    How can we explain this mixture of policy similarities and differences?

    What are the important factors and how do they interact with each...

  11. 4 Making global warming policy
    (pp. 64-88)

    This chapter gives background information on policy-making to tackle the global warming problem in Japan and Britain. In Chapter 3, I briefly explained that Japan could be considered corporatist and Britain pluralist in terms of government–industry relations, patterns of interest representation, and the norm of decision-making. I will elaborate how these differences are actually reflected in the traditionally dominant environmental policy styles of the two countries. Those industrial structural contexts that have important implications for the politics of global warming and the main actors in policy-making over global warming will also be briefly

    Consensus, concertation and developmentalism

    Japan underwent...

  12. 5 Policy developments in Japan on global warming: the politics of conflict and the producer-oriented policy response
    (pp. 89-119)

    Japan contributes only about 5 per cent of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions, but this is the fourth highest in the world, following that of the USA (around 25 per cent), Russia (7 per cent) and China (14 per cent). Although Japanese effort to reduce its emissions can make only a marginal difference, it bears an important responsibility in taking part in the world’s effort to tackle global warming.

    Carbon dioxide accounts for about 90 per cent of GHG emissions in Japan, and about 90 per cent of these carbon dioxide emissions stem from energy-related sources. The historical growth...

  13. 6 Co-optation and exclusion: controlled policy integration in Japan
    (pp. 120-151)

    To the extent that the problem of global warming arises from existing socio-economic activities, tackling it will entail an institutional metamorphosis towards a more sustainable form of socio-economic system. This will require a realignment of broad policy goals, which itself may require changes in policy-making institutions. Such changes have been referred to as policy integration, which is the theme of this chapter.

    The integration of environmental concerns into general economic policy in Japan started around the time of the Earth Summit in 1992. The 1992Five-Year Plan for Livelihood Great Power – Sharing a Better Quality of Life Around the...

  14. 7 Policy developments in Britain on global warming: in search of political leadership
    (pp. 152-179)

    Britain accounts for only about 2.5 per cent of total world emissions of carbon dioxide. In the early stages of global warming politics, this was often used by the government as an excuse not to take ‘hasty action’. Such cautious attitudes were reinforced by the government’s preoccupation with the biggest political project of the day, privatisation of the electricity industry. Britain was involved in the FCCC and its negotiation processes both as a member of the EU and as an independent state.

    About 80 per cent of British GHG emissions are in the form of carbon dioxide, of which about...

  15. 8 Competition and pressure: British policy integration
    (pp. 180-207)

    Britain has sought to integrate environmental concerns into policy decision-making at all levels. To this end, the first environment white paper introduced two institutions which would ‘ensure that… environmental issues are fully weighed in decisions’. One was the Cabinet Committee for the Environment, chaired by the Prime Minister. This was later replaced by the Ministerial Committee on the Environment, chaired by the Leader of the House of Lords instead of the Prime Minister. The other was the introduction of a ‘green minister’ in each government department. In addition, the white paper set up two institutional mechanisms to facilitate policy integration:...

  16. 9 Interests, institutions and global warming
    (pp. 208-241)

    Since 1988 Japan and Britain have responded to the common threat of global warming. Both countries voluntarily established a policy to tackle the problem before the adoption of the FCCC, and once it was established they developed and implemented policies and measures to meet its requirements as well as the goals they set for themselves. Given that it was a ‘framework’ Convention, Japan, Britain and all the other signatories were given considerable latitude in designing, developing and implementing policies and measures. The picture that emerges from the present detailed examination of climate policy in Japan and Britain is a mixture...

  17. 10 Epilogue: after the Kyoto conference
    (pp. 242-280)

    The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in December 1997 brought global warming politics to the next stage. With legally binding specific GHG reduction targets allocated to developed countries and as many of them had failed to control their emissions of carbon dioxide, efforts at reducing GHG emissions were strengthened in many developed liberal democracies. Japan, which failed to achieve its 2000 target, and Britain, which was one of the few countries to meet its targets, are not exceptions. I will briefly examine major policy developments in the two countries and discuss the implications for the main findings in this book....

  18. References
    (pp. 281-306)
  19. Index
    (pp. 307-316)