Developing transport sector emission reduction scenarios for Toyama City, Japan

The United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in Tokyo invited consultants to submit proposals for projects that would drive a shift in perceptions, policy and practice in the transition towards a low-carbon economy in Japan’s Toyama City.  Ricardo Energy & Environment was successful in securing funding for a project on low-carbon transport planning, with a focus on helping Toyama City achieve significant long-term reductions in GHG emissions from its transport sector.


The aim of the project was to construct a tailored tool to develop long-term transport policy scenarios for Toyama City and to assess the impacts on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air quality. The project was designed with the potential for wider roll-out across other cities in Japan. 


Ricardo Energy & Environment used its bespoke SULTAN illustrative scenarios tool, which was originally developed for use across the European Union (EU). We modified the tool for Toyama City by removing data specific to the EU in the existing model and collating baseline data on technology costs, modal share and fossil fuel prices in Japan. We then identified data sources to model the vehicle stock and technical characteristics of different vehicles and energy carriers, which enabled us to create a bespoke dataset that covered the business-as-usual scenario up to 2050. From here, we developed a set of ‘policy packages’ tailored to the needs and issues relevant in Toyama, and fed these into the adapted tool to understand the policy impact on future GHG emissions as opposed to the business-as-usual scenario. 


The tailored tool allowed policymakers from Toyama City to create long-term transport emission reduction pathways, assessing the compatibility of current transport policy with longer-term environmental objectives. The work resulted in an in-depth analysis of the impact of emissions in areas such as air quality, energy consumption and energy security.