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Pete Ogden and Ben Bovarnick -- Electricity market liberalization key to Japan's climate challenge

Transmission towers along the Sagami river in Kanagawa prefecture

Fast on the heels of the historic international climate agreement reached in Paris this past December, Japan last month initiated an important domestic power market reform that could help get the country back on track to meet or beat its greenhouse gas emission reduction target. Electricity market deregulation opens up significant potential for Japan to be a leader in developing an innovative 21st century electricity sector that is critical to achieving the clean energy and climate goals it has committed itself to in the Paris Agreement. And it represents an opportunity to become a new pillar for U.S.-Japan cooperation in the energy and climate space.

But this only holds true if Japan is mindful of the climate implications of its market reform; if it is not careful, Japan could make the mountain it needs to climb to meet its international climate change obligations much taller -- or even insurmountable.

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