Japan’s research on low-carbon cities mainly focuses on the field of low-carbon society. In 2004, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan initiated the research plan “Japan Low-Carbon Society Scenarios toward 2050”. In February 2007, Japan released “Japan Low Carbon Society Scenarios: Feasibility Study for 70% CO2 Emission Reduction by 2050 below 1990 Level”. In May 2008, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) research group released “12 Actions for a Low-Carbon Society” (A Dozen of Actions towards Low-Carbon Societies, L.ASs) (Scientific Research Dynamic Monitoring Letters of the National Science Library of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2008, No. 12, p. 2). Another example is the Japanese government has been committed to the construction of a low-carbon society and a low-carbon city. In July 2008, the Japanese cabinet meeting adopted the “Low-Carbon Society Action Plan” based on the “Fukuda Blueprint”
, put forward the principles of “minimizing carbon emissions in the sector”, “advocating a simple and high-quality life”, and “coexisting in harmony with nature”, which specifically involves multi-level and multi-field fields such as transportation, residence and workplace, industry, and city, and proposes the planning concept of “compact city”. As a leader in the construction of low-carbon cities in Japan, Tokyo City focuses on the energy conservation and environmental protection of residential buildings in urban planning. They use the natural gas in the city to generate electricity, and at the same time use the waste heat generated by the power generation to provide hot water for the family, and the energy saving effect has been greatly improved. Major industries in Japan have also independently set their own CO2 emission reduction targets of 10% to 20% from 2008 to 2012.
India, as the largest developing country and a major CO2 emitter, has also begun to pay attention to the role of cities in climate change. On June 30, 2008, India released the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which identified eight core national plans that India will implement after 2017. These include the National Plan for a Sustainable Living Environment, making energy efficiency a core component of urban planning, which calls for: revision of existing energy-efficient building codes; increased emphasis on municipal waste management and recycling, including the use of waste to generate electricity; strengthen the implementation of motor vehicle combustion economy standards and use pricing measures to encourage the purchase of low-energy-consumption vehicles; promote the use of public transportation (National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences Research Dynamic Monitoring Letters, 2008, No. 8, p. 10); and so on.
Shanghai Chongming Island Dongtan Eco-city is the world’s first sustainable urban plan for zero-carbon development. Shanghai Lingang New City focuses on promoting the application of low-carbon technologies in local areas such as low-carbon communities and low-carbon industrial parks, and trying low-carbon development practices. Pan Haixiao and others put forward the spatial planning strategy of China’s “low-carbon city”, mainly exploring low-carbon city planning from the aspects of “compact city”, “public transport orientation”, “development of bicycle and pedestrian traffic” and “mixed land use”. In January 2008, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched the low-carbon city development project in China, and Shanghai and Baoding were selected as the first batch of pilot cities. Among them, WWF will cooperate with relevant departments in Shanghai to improve the energy utilization efficiency of buildings through investigation, statistics and analysis of energy consumption of buildings; through training of property management personnel, to improve their ability of energy-saving operation; through the policy research on the development of ecological buildings, the carbon emissions of residents’ life can be reduced. WWF will cooperate with relevant departments of Baoding City to provide residents with new energy with low carbon emissions per unit by promoting investment in renewable energy and building new energy manufacturing bases, and ultimately achieve low-carbon urban development. In recent years, China’s low-carbon city practices have emerged.