The local assembly in the Japanese capital Tokyo approved a new rule on Thursday mandating the installation of solar power panels in every new home constructed by large-scale homebuilders from April 2025.
The mandate, the first of its kind for a Japanese municipality, is aimed at cutting household carbon emissions in the world’s fifth-largest carbon emitting country.
It requires about 50 major builders to equip homes of up to 2,000 square metres (21,500 square feet) with renewable energy power sources, mainly solar panels.
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Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike noted last week that just 4% of buildings where solar panels could be installed in the city now have them. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government aims to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with 2000 levels.
Japan has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 but faces difficulty as it has relied heavily on coal-burning thermal power after most of its nuclear reactors were shut in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
“In addition to the existing global climate crisis, we face an energy crisis with a prolonged Russia-Ukraine war,” Risako Narikiyo, a member of Koike’s regional party Tomin First no Kai, said at the assembly on Thursday.
“There is no time to waste.”
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena