“Motivating stakeholders to deliver change: Tokyo’s Cap-and-Trade Program” by Yuko Nishida and Ying Hua explores the processes by which a collectively agreed cap-and-trade programme can be implemented to successfully cut building based emissions. This ingenious approach addresses the diverse, complex and fragmented value chain in the building sector - the majority of building owners are small and local (unlike most other industries).
The Tokyo Cap-and-Trade article is published in international, peer-reviewed journal Building Research & Information and can be downloaded gratis from:
Tokyo launched its emissions trading programme in April 2010 capping 1,300 buildings with the highest emissions and making it the world's first mandatory cap-and-trade scheme for buildings. The programme design and implementation process have significant lessons to teach policy makers all over the world:
- The Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program (TCTP) has managed to bring together disparate stakeholders from developers, owners, tenants etc and have them work together to cut CO2 emissions in buildings
- TCTP shows how significant consultation process delivered flexibility to ensure that stakeholders see the Program as fair. This is critical for buy-in from a broad range of stakeholders
- TCTP allows participants to pick their own range of years as a baseline for reductions - which does not penalize buildings that are already energy efficient
- Mandatory reporting of emissions data is an important prerequisite. Only once the municipal government has some idea of the city’s emissions and the profiles on individual buildings, can it work on developing a programme to address rising emissions
- Simplicity of approach also supports a perception of fairness. While there are many aspects to the efficiency of a building and its emissions, TCTP is based on energy consumption, which allows different types of buildings, and their emissions, to be assessed on a like for like basis. It is also possible to buy credits from other participants in the scheme, or to use renewable energy certificates for offsets
The buildings sector has proved difficult to regulate in many jurisdictions and from many perspectives but the TCTP is a demonstration that effective carbon governance is possible. The approach taken by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government could provide a model for other municipalities to address the challenge of cutting emissions from buildings.