Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Japan
Online ISSN : 1881-0519
Print ISSN : 1880-2761
ISSN-L : 1880-2761
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Special Issue: Sustainability at the Regional Level
Commentary and Discussion
  • ASHINA Shuichi
    2021 Volume 17 Issue 3 Pages 150-159
    Published: 2021
    Released: July 26, 2021

    In order to promote transition from the current system into a sustainable one, it is essential to plan and implement various measures and options among socio-economic system and technological system with the cooperation of stakeholders. An integrated assessment model (IAM) is one of the methods to evaluate measures of technologies and policies toward the sustainable society while ensuring the consistency of various elements in the society. The case study of application for regional climate change mitigation showed that, technical measures such as the introduction of high-efficiency appliances, as well as changes in land use pattern and urban structure and installation of local energy system utilizing local energy resources are important for reduction of CO2 emissions. IAM requires a various type of data among socio-economic situation, energy system, material stock and local resources for evaluation of technological and policy measures and options; however, such data-related limitations can be overcome by referring to the research outcomes for understanding the current situation of region, as well as precedent cases of regions with similar characteristics to the target region. The IAM expects to lead to plan future pathways to sustainable society that is consistent with each other’s efforts and utilizing local resources.

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    2021 Volume 17 Issue 3 Pages 160-166
    Published: 2021
    Released: July 26, 2021

    Water is an indispensable resource for all socioeconomic activities. Safe and secure water resources and infrastructure development in social capital are important policy issues. However, frequent flood damage caused by typhoons and torrential rains owing to climate change is a concern. The resulting long-lasting economic damage spreads throughout the supply chain. Direct and indirect damages from flood risk should be evaluated. This study proposes a method for estimating the spatiotemporal economic damage by floods. For the Yabe River and the Chikugo River basins in Kyushu, this study evaluates the effect of the economic damage arising from a probable flood risk on the production activities in the basin and surrounding areas.

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Review Article
  • DOU Yi, HEIHO Aya, SUWA Izuru, KANEMATSU Yuichiro, KIKUCHI Yasunori
    2021 Volume 17 Issue 3 Pages 167-173
    Published: 2021
    Released: July 26, 2021

    Earlier introduction and diffusion of emerging technologies is quite necessary for achieving decarbonization target by 2050. However, many emerging technologies are still in development, while the actual decarbonization effects from implementing the technologies in the future are also uncertain. For designing an appropriate roadmap of these technologies with lower uncertainties, it is crucial to conduct earlier strategic assessment on the economic and environmental impacts before the formal regional implementation, considering the factors such as technology readiness, model change, and scale-up. Recently, more and more studies begin to apply prospective life cycle assessment (prospective LCA) as a tool for evaluating the future potential impacts from implementing the emerging technologies. This article conducts a literature review on the previous studies using prospective LCA, aims at a summary on the content and challenges in applying prospective LCA as well as providing a specific perspective from regional implementation to improve the prospective LCA.

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Research Article
  • HEIHO Aya, KIKUCHI Yasunori
    2021 Volume 17 Issue 3 Pages 174-192
    Published: 2021
    Released: July 26, 2021

    Local governments are required to implement measures that take advantage of regional characteristics in order to solve complex social issues such as low birthrate and an aging population, climate change and biodiversity. Although the regional input-output table (RIO) is one of the most useful tools for analyzing the characteristics of the region and economic ripple effect focused on direct and indirect effects, it is not utilized by most of the basic local governments. The purpose of this paper is to create a flow chart on the construction and publication of RIO based on a survey on the historical record and the estimation of workload rate using the number of administrative staff. The number of RIO created in the last five years was limited and accounted for 9.6% (167 regions) of the total municipalities. The analysis of the workload rate suggests that it is difficult for more than 90% of municipalities to carry out the construction of RIO by themselves. However, involvement of local governments was essential for the continuous publication of RIO. We conclude that it is important to select efficient methods that match local conditions and to collaborate with external organizations.

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