Nearly 30% of Japan firms to boost investment for decarbonization

© Kyodo News

Nearly 30 percent of large companies across Japan plan to expand their capital investment in technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, a recent survey showed, reflecting global efforts to achieve a carbon-free society.

The survey conducted by the Development Bank of Japan showed 27 percent of some 1,000 large companies, defined as those with 1 billion yen ($9 million) or more in capital, will boost their investments in decarbonization, such as in electric vehicles-related technologies and renewable energy.

Manufacturers were particularly keen in increasing their decarbonization-related investments, with 46 percent in the transport machinery industry and 43 percent in the chemical industry saying they will do so.

The survey also found that about 33 percent of the respondent companies see the global trend towards a carbon-free society as an opportunity to expand their businesses.

By region, there are investment plans for solar power generation in Tokyo and surrounding areas and for offshore wind power generation in the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan, as well as investment in electric vehicle batteries in the western Japan region of Shikoku.

Among the challenges facing companies in decarbonization efforts, some 45 percent said they were concerned by development costs.

The impact of the spread of COVID-19 could also affect capital investment, especially for the nonmanufacturing industry, with the state-backed Development Bank of Japan saying investment could be reduced should profits fall.