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Home » Japanese Industry in an Unstable Climate: Reducing Exposure to the Security Implications of Climate Change

Japanese Industry in an Unstable Climate: Reducing Exposure to the Security Implications of Climate Change

Japanese Industry in an Unstable Climate_Cover_May 2019Japanese Industry in an Unstable Climate: Reducing Exposure to the Security Implications of Climate Change

The first report in the Center for Climate and Security’s Japan Series shows that Japan’s economic competitiveness is threatened by heavy reliance on imports from countries facing multiple climate change-exacerbated security risks. Findings show 17% of Japan’s imports coming from countries facing medium to high climate change and security vulnerabilities, and come ahead of major G20 ministerial meetings in Japan on Trade and Digital Economy (June 8-9) and Energy Transitions for Global Environment for Sustainable Growth (June 15-16).

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Climate change poses severe, growing and under-appreciated threats to Japan’s future competitiveness.
  • Japan’s most important economic sectors are dependent on both supply chain components and revenue from locations at risk from climate change, including Southeast Asia.
  • The intersection of climate hazards and security risks is under-examined in many countries Japan’s economy is entwined with.
  • Countries with the highest compound exposure to climate change impacts, resilience challenges and complicated domestic security environments include Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
  • This risk nexus is beginning to be assessed, but has yet to be comprehensively examined and included in the calculation of commercial, energy or security investments in the region.
  • The potential knock-on impacts of climate-related fragility and instability, such as to economic productivity and prosperity, need to be considered when making energy investment decisions.

Click here for the full report.

Click here for a Japan Series Fact Sheet covering both reports.

Quotes from the authors:

“This report considers one aspect of these risks: how myriad climate impacts might damage social and political stability for Japan’s key trading partners, particularly those that export components for its automotive and electronics industries. These risks are only beginning to be comprehensively assessed, but indicate a clear need to consider the business consequences of foreseeable climate change hazards, as well as the consequences of driving further climate destabilization.” – Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, US Navy (Retired), Advisory Board, the Center for Climate and Security, Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment

“The business case for addressing climate-related risk is clear: while potentially costly in the near-term, not acting is even more expensive. These risks could cause instability in locations with substantial Japanese investment across Asia.  Instability is not good for business, in any sense.”Rachel Fleishman, Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific, The Center for Climate and Security

“Southeast Asia’ profound vulnerabilities to climate change and security issues threaten growth and stability across and beyond the region, giving leaders a responsibility to prepare to avoid the worst outcomes of a more turbulent future.”– Shiloh Fetzek, Senior Fellow for International Affairs, The Center for Climate and Security