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Laws :Global environment

Law Concerning the Promotion of the Measures to Cope with Global Warming

(Tentative Translation)

Law No.117 of 1998
Effective on October 9, 1998

Article 1
(Purpose)

This law, guided by the recognition that global warming will have severe impacts on the global environment and taking into account the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the progress made at it third Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, that it is the common challenge for human beings to mitigate global warming through stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, and that tackling this challenge voluntarily and actively is crucial for everyone, aims to promote the measures to cope with global warming through, e.g. defining the responsibilities of the central government, local governments, businesses and citizens to take measures to cope with global warming, and establishing a basic policy on measures to cope with global warming, and thereby contribute to ensuring healthful and cultural lives of present and future generations of people, and to contribute to the welfare of all human beings.

Article 2
(Definitions)

For the purpose of this law,

1. "Global warming" means the phenomena whereby greenhouse gases generated by anthropogenic activities increase the greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere, thereby resulting in additional increases to the temperatures of the earth's surface and the atmosphere.

2. "Measures to cope with global warming" means the measures to mitigate global warming and measures of international cooperation to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and to enhance and protect the carbon dioxide absorption function of plants and animals (hereinafter referred to as "to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance sinks").

3. "Greenhouse gases" means the following substances:

1) Carbon dioxide (CO2)
2) Methane (CH4)
3) Nitrogen dioxide (N2O)
4) Substances of Hydrofluorocarbons group (HFCS) specified by the Cabinet Order
5) Substances of Perfluorocarbons group (PFCS) specified by the Cabinet Order
6) Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)

4. "Greenhouse gas emissions" means the emission, discharge or leakage into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases generated from human activities, and the use of electricity or heat provided by another party (limited to those which use fossil fuel or electricity as a heat source).

5. "Aggregate emission of greenhouse gases" means the sum of the amount of each greenhouse gas, gained by multiplying the emission of the greenhouse gas calculated by methods stipulated in the Cabinet Orders for each greenhouse gas substance by the global warming potentials (a coefficient defined by the Cabinet Order in accordance with international knowledge as a ratio of the potential of each greenhouse gas to that of carbon dioxide to cause global warming substance).

Article 3
(Responsibilities of the Central Government)

1. The central government shall carry out observation and monitoring to gain a clear picture of the change in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, and the state of related climate change and ecosystems. It shall also formulate and implement comprehensive measures to cope with global warming.

2. The central government shall promote policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks. For policies which have relations to limiting greenhouse gas missions and enhancing sinks, it shall give consideration to ensure limitation of greenhouse gas emissions and enhancement of sinks in harmonizing with achieving the objective of these policies.

3. The central government shall take measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance sinks in its own businesses. It shall also support policies of local governments to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks, and shall strive to provide technical advice and adopt other measures in order to promote the activities carried out by enterprises, citizens and private groups of these enterprises and citizens (referred to as "private groups" in Paragraph 5 to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks.

4. The central government shall carry out surveys on forecasting global warming and its impact, surveys on technology for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and other surveys necessary for the formulation of measures to cope with global warming.

5. The central government shall strive to take the measures necessary to promote the international cooperation on global warming, such as ensuring international cooperation to effectively promote the observation and monitoring specified in Paragraph 1, and international cooperation to promote the survey specified in the paragraph 4. It shall also strive to provide information and to adopt other necessary measures to promote the activities for international cooperation by local governments and private groups on limiting greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing sinks.

Article 4
(Responsibilities of Local Governments)

1. Local governments shall promote policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance sinks in accordance with the natural and social conditions of their areas.

2. Local governments shall take measures to limit greenhouse gases emissions and to enhance sinks in their own business activities, and strive to provide information on policies specified in the paragraph 1, and adopt other measures so that enterprises and residents in their areas are encouraged to take activities to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance sinks.

Article 5
(Responsibilities of Businesses)

Businesses shall strive to adopt measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks in their business activities (including measures to help other parties limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks), and shall cooperate with policies for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing sinks implemented by the central and local governments.

Article 6
(Responsibilities of Citizens)

Citizens shall strive to adopt measures to limit greenhouse gases emissions and enhance sinks in their daily life, and cooperate with the policies for limiting greenhouse gases emissions and enhancing sinks implemented by the central and local governments.

Article 7
(Basic Policy and Action Plan on the central Government's Business)

1. In order to promote measures comprehensively and systematically, to cope with global warming comprehensively and systematically, the central government shall stipulate a basic policy, on measures to cope with global warming (hereinafter referred to as the "basic policy").

2. The basic policy shall include the following items.

1) Basic direction of the promotion of measures to cope with global warming
2) Basic items on measures of the central government, local governments, businesses and citizens to limit greenhouse gases emissions and enhance sinks.
3) Items listed below of items on a plan of measures carried out by the central government to limit greenhouse gas emissions from and to enhance sinks in the central government's business activities.
a) The formulation, revision and publication of a plan.
b) The content of the plan including the content of measures to be stipulated in the plan, and the goals to be achieved by these measures.
c) Publication of the status of implementation measures specified in the plan (including aggregate emissions of greenhouse gases).
4) Basic items of the plans for enterprises which generate considerable amounts of greenhouse gases shall strive to formulate and publicize measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks (including measures to help other parties limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks).
5) Basic items on measures to cope with global warming other than those listed in 1 to 4.

3. The Prime Minister shall prepare a draft of the basic policy, and ask the Cabinet to approve it.

4. In preparing a draft of the basic policy, the Prime Minister shall consult with the head of related government ministries and agencies beforehand.

5. After the Cabinet has approved the plan in accordance with the Paragraph 3, the Prime Minister shall publicize the basic policy without delay.

6. The provisions of paragraphs of 3,4 and 5 shall also be applied to changes in the basic policy.

Article 8
(Action Plan on the Local Governments' business)

1. Prefectures and cities, towns and villages shall formulate plans on measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions from and enhance sinks in their business activities (hereinafter referred to as the action plan in this article), in line with the basic policy.

2. When formulating or changing these action plans, prefectures and cities, towns and villages shall publicize them without delay.

3. Prefectures and cities, towns and villages shall publicize the state of the implementation of the measures specified in their action plans (including the aggregate emissions of greenhouse gases).

Article 9
(Plans on the Activities of Enterprises)

1. Enterprises shall strive to individually or jointly formulate plans on measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks from their own business activities (including measures to help other parties limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks), while paying attention to the provisions of the basic policy. They shall also strive to publicize these plans.

2. Enterprises which have formulated and publicized the plans of the paragraph 1, shall strive to individually or jointly publicize the state of the implementation of the measures specified in the plans.

Article 10
(Volunteers to Promote Activities to Mitigate Global Warming)

1. Prefectural governors may appoint persons with enthusiasm and knowledge for disseminating knowledge on the measures to cope with global warming and on the current state of global warming, and promoting measures in the region, as volunteers to promote activities to mitigate global warming.

2. The volunteers to promote activities to mitigate global warming shall carry out the following activities.

1) Deepen the understanding of residents on the current state of global warming and on the importance of the measures to cope with global warming.
2) Provide necessary advice as requested for residents to limit greenhouse gases emissions in their daily lives.
3) Cooperate with residents in taking actions to promote measures to cope with global warming through providing information on these actions, etc.
4) Cooperate for policies of the central and local governments to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks.

Article 11
(Prefectural Centers for the Promotion of Activities to Cope With Global Warming)

1. Prefectural Governors may designate upon application one Prefectural Center for the Promotion of Activities to Cope With Global Warming (hereinafter referred to as Prefectural Center) in each Prefecture. These centers shall be public corporations established in accordance with Article 34 of the Civil Code (Law No. 89, 1896) whose purpose is to promote activities which contribute to mitigating global warming through such measures as education and dissemination on measures to cope with global warming. and at the same time, who can be recognized as capable of effectively and accurately implementing the activities specified in the paragraph 2.

2. Prefectural Centers shall carry out the following activities within the prefecture where the center is located.

1) Carry out educational activities and public relations activities on the state of global warming and the importance of measures to cope with global warming, and support the activities of volunteers who promote activities to mitigate global warming, and private groups engaged in activities that promote measures to cope with global warming.
2) Respond to inquiries, consult, and provide necessary advice on measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions and enhance sinks in people's daily lives.
3) Based on the examples of inquiries and consultations done in accordance with the preceding paragraph, carry out surveys on the actual state of greenhouse gas emissions in people's daily lives, and analyze information and materials relating to such surveys.
4) Provide people the results of the analysis carried out in accordance with the paragraph 3) on a regular or timely basis in order to promote measures to cope with global warming.
5) Activities incidental to those mentioned in any of the above.

3. If a Prefectural Governor acknowledges the necessity to improve the financial state and the operational administration of the Prefectural Center, they may order the Prefectural Center in question to take the measures necessary for those improvements to occur.

4. If a Prefectural Center violates an order issued in accordance with the provisions of the paragraph 3, the Prefectural Governor may cancel the designation of the Prefectural Center described in Paragraph 1.

5. Directors or employees of Prefectural Centers or those who previously had been in those position may not leak confidential information learned concerning the activities given in Paragraph 2, 2) or 3), or the operations given in Paragraph 2, 5) (limited to those operations incidental to activities given in Paragraph 2, 2) or 3)).

6. Procedures for designation of Paragraph 1, and other items necessary concerning Prefectural Centers shall be specified by the Prime Minister's Office Order.

Article 12
(National Center for the Promotion of Activities to Cope with Global Warming)

1. The Director-General of the Environment Agency may designate upon application one National Center for the Promotion of Activities to Cope With Global Warming (hereinafter referred to as the National Center) in the country. This center shall be a public corporation established in accordance with Article 34 of the Civil Code whose purpose is to promote activities which contribute to mitigating global warming through such measures as education and dissemination on measures to cope with global warming, and at the same time who can be recognized as capable of effectively and accurately implementing the activities specified in the following paragraph 2.

2. The National Center shall carry out the following activities.

1) Carry out education and public relations activities on the state of global warming and the importance of the measures to cope with global warming in areas of two or more Prefectures, and support the activities of private groups engaged in activities to promote measures to cope with global warming in areas of two or more Prefectures.
2) Based on examples of greenhouse gas emissions in daily lives, carry out research into the methods to promote the measures to limit greenhouse gases emissions and enhance sinks in daily lives.
3) Carry out research other than those specified in the paragraph 2.2) and collect, analyze and provide information and materials concerning global warming and measures to cope with global warming.
4) Collect and provide information on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from products whose use in daily lives generate greenhouse gas emissions.
5) Promote liaison and coordination among the Prefectural Centers, carry out training of employees in these centers, and provide guidance and other assistance to the Prefectural Centers.
6) Activities incidental to those mentioned in any of the above.

3. Before the Director-General of the Environment Agency designates the National Center in accordance with Paragraph 1, he or she shall consult the heads of related government ministries and agencies.

4. The provisions of Paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of the article 11 shall apply with necessary modifications to the National Center. In this case, in Paragraph 3 of article 11, "Prefectural Governor" shall be replaced with "Director General of the Environment Agency," and in Paragraph 4 of article 11, "Prefectural Governor" shall be replaced with "Director General of the Environment Agency, "Paragraph 1" shall be replaced with "Paragraph 1 of article 12," and "Paragraph 1" of Paragraph 6 of article 11 shall be replaced with "Paragraph 1 of article 12."

Article 13
(Publicizing Aggregate Emission of Greenhouse Gases)

The central government shall calculate the total amount of greenhouse gases emissions in Japan, and publicly announce it in the way specified by the Prime Minister's Office Order.

Article 14
(Cooperation with Related Government Ministries and Agencies)

1. If the Director-General of the Environment Agency acknowledges it as necessary to achieve the objectives of this law, he or she may request the heads of relevant government ministries and agencies for necessary cooperation in promoting measures to cope with global warming, concerning the implementation of policies that contribute to limiting the greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing sinks.

2. If the Director-General of the Environment Agency acknowledges it as necessary to achieve the objectives of this law, he or she may request governors of relevant Prefectures to submit or explain the necessary materials.

Article 15
(Transitional Arrangements)

If an order is enacted, amended or abolished in accordance with the provisions of this law, the necessary transitional arrangements may be specified in the order within the scope deemed rationally necessary for the enactment, amendment or abolition.

Article 16
(Penal Provisions)

Persons violating the provisions of Article 11, Paragraph 5 shall be subjected to a fine of up to 300,000 yen.

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Supplementary Provisions

Article 1
(Date This Law Takes Effect)

This law shall come into force on the day which will be designated by the Cabinet Order and shall be within six months from the day of its promulgation. However, the provisions of Article 1, Paragraphs 1, 2, and 4 of Article 2, Articles 3 to 6, and Article 3 of the Supplementary Provisions shall come into force on the date of the promulgation.

Article 2
(Review)

Within five years from the date this law takes effect, the Central Government shall review the state of implementation of this law, and adopt necessary measures based on those results.

Article 3
(Amendment to the Law Establishing the Environment Agency)

The Law Establishing the Environment Agency (Law No. 88, 1971) shall be amended as follows. The following provision shall be added after Article 4, Number 6, 2. Number 6-3, To implement the Law Concerning the Promotion of the Measures to Cope with Global Warming (Law No.117, 1998)

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