Energy Governance: Mainstreaming Energy Policy for Local Sustainability
Rural towns and villages in Japan are facing two difficult challenges: “sustaining the locality” and “achieving energy shift and autonomy”. Forest resources have attracted attention for some time from both practitioners and researchers in this field, mainly because 70% of Japan’s land is covered with forests and forestry was once the key industry for rural areas. In this chapter, two local governments in rural areas are introduced as advanced cases for such challenges. Both local governments set the forestry and renewable energy-related industry as the core of the local economy and develop strategic visions and implementation frameworks in close partnership with the local stakeholders. They set the energy policy as the mainstream of local governance and have been trying to create holistic approaches towards local sustainability. They have presented the potential that even a small, remote town can offer a rich and fruitful lifestyle in the post-industrial era.
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