Sustainable Growth

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Climate change and trade risk: South Africa's trade with Japan

Exports to Japan accounted for 5% of South Africa’s exports between 2010 and 2019. Production processes in Japan have been characterised by high fossil fuel use, especially following the Fukushima nuclear accident which saw nuclear power being substituted by fossil fuels. Japan’s climate change mitigation is centered on carbon capture technologies, increasing energy efficiency, and the introduction of new technologies such as hydrogen. In 2016, Japan also enforced a carbon tax on oil, gas and coal imports, and on consumption. This has, however, been inconsequential to its trading relations with South Africa.

This brief is based on a comprehensive review of Japan’s climate change policy framework in relation to industries, as well as a review of South Africa’s climate and trade risks. It forms part of a research project for the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition examining the vulnerability of South African trade to evolving climate change legislation. The research comprises a main report on The global climate change regime and its impacts on South Africa's trade and competitiveness: A data note on South Africa's exports; case studies on various sectors; detailed briefs that explore South Africa’s trade risks with different countries; and key data in Excel format.

The reports, other country briefs and excel sheets are available at Climate change and trade risks.