Side event at APFSD

Carbon neutrality: The future of Asia-Pacific -- Contribution to the transition toward decarbonisation --

23 March 2021 (Tue.)  12:15-13:45 Bangkok time / 14:15-15:45 Japan time

In the run-up to COP26, which will be held in November of this year, countries are moving more and more toward decarbonisation. Following the European Union’s lead, including France, a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific, among them Japan, the Republic of Korea, Bhutan, Fiji, the Maldives, the Marshall Islands and Nepal, declared their carbon neutrality targets by 2050 and are incorporating them in their Nationally Determined Contributions. China has also declared its aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In addition, the US returned to the Paris Agreement following President Biden’s assumption of office in January 2021. The Asia Pacific region needs to move forward with the transition toward decarbonisation, and the achievement of this goal will depend on actions taken by national and local governments, industries and others. 

Particularly in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific, there is an urgent need to decouple economic growth from GHG emissions. In addition, actions must be based upon current scientific knowledge such as the gap in emissions reductions, while simultaneously minimising impacts on various environmental issues such as air pollution (Goal 3; Target 3.9), ocean pollution (Goal 14), and biodiversity preservation (Goals 14 and 15) across the region. 

Given this background, this side event aimed to contribute to the transition toward decarbonisation in the Asia Pacific region. The event discussed how to accelerate actions to achieve carbon neutrality as well as contribute to multiple targets in the SDGs, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It did so by exploring various policy pathways, including green recoveries, in addition to technologies, finance, capacity building and partnerships such as city-to-city cooperation. To this end, the event was held with participation from national and local governments, the private sector and others.

Event Details

23 March 2021 (Tue.)  12:15-13:45 Bangkok time / 14:15-15:45 Japan time


Embassy of France in Thailand
United Nations Issue-Based Coalition on Climate Change Mitigation and Air Pollution (UNEP/ESCAP)
English / Japanese
(Simultaneous interpretation)

IGES Event Secretariat
[email protected]

Presentation Materials

  Opening Remarks Mr. KONDO Tomohiro (Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan)  
H.E. Thierry Mathou (Designate French Ambassador in Thailand)
Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana (Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP))  
  Keynote speech “Decarbonisation trends toward COP26 and transition toward decarbonisation in the Asia-Pacific region”
Prof. TAKAMURA Yukari (Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), University of Tokyo)
PDF (1.7MB)
  Video message Dr. Henri Waisman (Coordinator of the Deep Decarbonisation Pathways initiative at IDDRI; co-author of IPCC SR1.5 report)
  Panel discussion “Actions and partnerships to achieve carbon neutrality in the Asia Pacific region”
Moderator & Framing Presentation
Prof. TAKEUCHI Kazuhiko (President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)) PDF (1.0MB)
Mr. INODA Kazuhiro (Supervising Director of Global Environment and Energy Policy, Kyoto City) PDF (1.1MB)
Mr. Vincent Vinarao (Acting Assistant, Department Head of the Quezon City Environmental Protection and Waste Management Department) PDF (327KB)
Dr. Radha Wagle (Joint-Secretary and chief of Climate Change Management Division, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal)  
Ms. Dechen Tsering (Regional Director, UN Environment Programme)  
Prof. Joyashree Roy (Bangabandhu Chair Professor, Asian Institute of Technology and Jadavpur University (on lien)) PDF (388KB)
  Closing by the moderator Prof. TAKEUCHI Kazuhiko (President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES))  

Recorded Video