February 11, 2008 (Yomiuri Shimbun) – The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry plans to expand the nation’s environment-focused business sector to about 83 trillion yen in 2015, from 59 trillion yen in 2005, sources said. In June, the ministry plans to draw up policies to achieve this target that will include proposals for popularizing environmentally friendly technologies and businesses, according to the sources.
The ministry will promote the plan to participants at the Group of Eight summit meeting, which is to focus on environmental issues, to be held in Toyakocho, Hokkaido in July.
The ministry believes the domestic market for businesses involved in tackling global warming could grow by 54 percent to 49 trillion yen by 2015 from the 2005 level.
With this in mind, the government expects a jump in demand for energy-saving technologies that help cut greenhouse gas emissions, as well as increased demand for natural energy such as solar power.
The ministry also expects the market for services related to recycling and waste disposal to grow 20 percent to 29 trillion yen, and that of businesses involved in preventing pollution to jump 64 percent to 4.8 trillion yen during the period.
The ministry believes the number of jobs in environment-focused businesses will increase 45 percent over the period to 2.6 million.
The ministry cites a number of ways this could be achieved, including developing technology to halve electricity consumption in large data-processing facilities, improving the performance of solar and wind power generation, and increasing the collection of rare metals from discarded home electronics products.
The ministry’s plan will include proposals to encourage development of environmentally sound technology, measures for increasing information disclosure to encourage investment in environment-focused businesses, and suggestions for educating consumers on such issues.