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Key Roles of LPG in Realizing Long-Term Contributions
to the Environment and Resilience (Sustainable Recovery)

Chapter 1: Introduction (Background and Content of Implementation)

Demand for LPG in Japan peaked at 19.71 million tons in 1996, before declining to 13.93 million tons in 2019 (a decrease of 5.78 million tons in volume, or minus 29%). It has been well cited that there are mainly two reasons behind the decline: shifting to all-electric homes and the rollout of energy-efficient gas-burning appliances to market. However, it should also be noted that demand for LPG has started to be pushed down by the growing and enhanced awareness both in public and private sectors of protecting the global environment and tackling the issue by reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, including LPG.

 In recent years, political direction towards defining renewable energy as the main power source has been clearly shown such as by the “Strategic Energy Plan” or “Long-term Strategy under the Paris Agreement” issued by the Japanese government (herein after referred to as “the GOJ”). In reality, it might be possible to expand the utilization of electricity derived from renewable energy by developing revolutionary technologies and overcoming potential future challenges, such as power distribution network or electricity storage. However, the stakes are still high. In order to realize a low (or decarbonized) society, it is also necessary to effectively utilize the existing energy sources while promoting the renewable energy policy.

 It is an undeniable fact that LPG is a fossil fuel, however, it provides excellent environmental performance and strong resilience, and has an important role to play as a “last resort in case of disaster”. The exceptional and advantageous benefits of LPG have been well demonstrated in the past in disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. LPG is a source of energy that can easily and readily be accessed anywhere in the country. Moreover, LPG has already established a competitiveness as a decentralized energy given its resilience, and supply chains can recover much more quickly than other major energy sources in times of disasters. In addition, a reliable and robust supply network exists across Japan. Therefore, it is safe to say that LPG is comparatively superior to other energy sources from a Japanese energy-security perspective.

 The Japan LP Gas Association (herein after referred to as “the JLPGA”) released its LP Gas Vision in 2025 in November 2018, which details the mid- and long-term approaches concerning demand expansion, stable supply, improvement of distribution system, safety, environment, quality control, and so forth. This vision highlighted the importance for LPG players not only to pursue ‘quantity (sales volumes)’ but also to seek ‘quality’ improvement (such as contribution to environmental policy) in order to help realize a sustainable society as well as to strengthen our disaster response capability. This stressed the critical responsibilities, and pride of LPG players involved in the industry, and enabled the industry to pursue a sustainable society where LPG is a clear choice, not only on the environmental benefit, but also because of the contributions LPG can make to social priorities.

 We have chosen the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which incorporate multiple perspectives such as environment, technical innovation, resilience and sustainability, as a fair measure to objectively evaluate the universal usability of LPG (such as versatility and portability) and its unchanging essential role in the future. Thus, adopting the SDGs would be the most appropriate method and approach for us to explain the status of LPG to the public under the complex circumstances surrounding the LPG industry.

 In addition to these arguments, it is important for the LPG industry to clarify the role LPG can play in helping achieve certain SDGs (e.g., stable supply of energy, innovation, resilience, and environment). As a part of such works to enhance public awareness of the universal usability of LPG, we decided to write and publish this statement. Finally, we would like to thank Jyukankyo Research Institute Inc. for the valuable advice and support in preparing this report.