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Open Access 2018 | Open Access | Book

Cover of the book

New Vision 2050

A Platinum Society

Authors: Dr. Hiroshi Komiyama, Dr. Koichi Yamada

Publisher: Springer Japan

Book Series : Science for Sustainable Societies


About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book presents the "New Vision 2050," which adds the concept of the “platinum society” to the “Vision 2050”.

The 20th century was a century in which energy led the development of material civilization, resulting in deletion of resources, global warming and climate change. What form should sustainable material and energy take to protect the Earth? The "Vision 2050" was established 20 years ago as a model that we should pursue for the next half century. Fortunately, the world is on course for the Vision 2050.

The 21st century will be a century in which we seek qualitative richness, with the Vision 2050 as the material basis. That is, a “platinum society” that has resource self-sufficiency and resource symbiosis, and where people remain active throughout their lives and have a wide range of choices and opportunities for free participation.

Since the author presented the concept of "Vision 2050" in 1999, the idea has been introduced in two books entitled Vision 2050: Roadmap for a Sustainable Earth (2008) and Beyond the Limits to Growth: New Ideas for Sustainability from Japan (2014). The latter includes a chapter that sheds light on the concept of a “platinum society”. In this publication, the author presents the "New Vision 2050" in more detail.

Table of Contents


Open Access

Chapter 1. The Message in “Vision 2050”
If all people are materially satisfied and can lead a dignified life, many of the world’s difficulties can probably be overcome. In the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” established by the United Nations, eradication of poverty is positioned as the greatest global-scale issue and an indispensable prerequisite for sustainable development. To eradicate poverty, we must continue economic growth while satisfying global sustainability, which is the foundation of human survival. In other words, can we continue providing sufficient affluence to people in developing countries, while suppressing global warming and the overconsumption of resources? Will that be possible amid a situation where it has been said that we need three Earths just to maintain the status quo? Studying this issue, I came to the conclusion that there is a possible solution, and thus presented Vision 2050 in 1999 as a specific measure to that end.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Koichi Yamada

Open Access

Chapter 2. Progress on Vision 2050 Since 1995
With regard to global warming, debate on its authenticity was prevalent even among scientists 20 years ago when Vision 2050 was envisioned. However, now in 2016, 99% of the scientists consider global warming to be a fact. Furthermore, due to abnormal weather occurring frequently across the Earth, global warming is gaining acceptance among the general public with a sense of reality, going beyond the recognition of scientists. While looking at the changes over the past 20 years, let’s examine the feasibility of Vision 2050, which was presented to resolve the trilemma of global warming, energy and resources, and the economy.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Koichi Yamada

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Chapter 3. Technology to Support Low-Carbon Society (Using Energy)
Against the backdrop of environmental regulations and oil shocks, Japan has been refining its energy-saving technologies. There are many top world-ranking energy-saving products, and we frequently hear people saying that further improvement of energy efficiency is difficult. In reality, however, there are hardly any products for which energy efficiency has already reached the limit of improvement.
It is possible to theoretically derive a target value for how far energy efficiency can be enhanced. Appropriate target setting produces new innovations. Innovative technologies lead to the realization of a low-carbon society, and at the same time, they can be a trump card for new growth strategies. How can we improve efficiency and maximize the value per energy input? We still have a long way to go in overcoming these issues.
We discuss here the direction of energy efficiency improvement and low carbonization of sectors such as transport, household and metal production.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Koichi Yamada

Open Access

Chapter 4. Technology to Support Low-Carbon Society (Utilizing Energy)
In the future, energy efficiency will increasingly improve while energy consumption will decrease. However, it is impossible to reach zero, regardless of how far we reduce energy consumption. Vision 2050 is a concept for achieving both the realization of a low-carbon society and qualitative affluence. To that end, energy is of course indispensable. The problem lies with the origin of energy.
In Vision 2050, doubling renewable energy was advocated as a target. The IEA has predicted that 60% of investments in power sources up to 2040 will be for renewable energy. As this is a market that can be expected to grow for the next several decades, there should also be many business opportunities.
In this section, we describe renewable energy such as solar cell, hydraulic power and biomass and storage battery.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Koichi Yamada

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Chapter 5. Low-Carbon Society in 2050
Up to the previous chapter, we separately studied major activities related to energy such as technical possibilities, quantitative potential, and price competitiveness. It is necessary to consolidate these activities and determine whether it is possible to simultaneously realize a low-carbon society and achieve economic growth.
In this chapter, we use the outcomes of our studies of the individual matters described in Chaps. 3 and 4 and present the results of future costs of low carbon power supply and a simulation to achieve a balance between a low-carbon society and GDP in Japan.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Koichi Yamada

Open Access

Chapter 6. Platinum Industry and a New Society
A big paradigm shift is starting to occur as we move away from the twentieth century, during which people sought quantitative affluence, to a mature society in which they seek qualitative affluence.
A platinum society symbolizing brilliance such as eco (green), health (silver), and IT (scarlet) is appropriate for the twenty-first century. It is not about false courage or perseverance. It is a bright future society where everyone can pursue a better quality of life (QOL).
Society will be resolving these various issues toward the realization of a platinum society. Precisely because Japan is a problem-saddled developed country, it can also become a leading country in resolving societal problems. With New Vision 2050, let’s present a problem-solving model to the world.
Hiroshi Komiyama, Koichi Yamada
New Vision 2050
Dr. Hiroshi Komiyama
Dr. Koichi Yamada
Copyright Year
Springer Japan
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN