Zero Carbon City International Forum 2022

Day 1: 9 March 2022 20:00-22:15 (EST) , Day 2: 10 March 7:00-9:15 (EST)

Subnational governments are increasingly becoming the leading actors in decarbonisation. Subnational governments have an important role to play in pursuing the net-zero target, raising ambitions at local level and strengthening urban resilience.

The impacts of climate change are now evident all over the world, and immediate climate actions are necessary to address this urgent global challenge. The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Glasgow, UK, adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact, which calls for countries to accelerate their reduction efforts to keep the global average temperature increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement and the Glasgow Climate Pact recognise the important role of non-state actors in climate actions, including local and regional governments.

Now subnational governments are playing an increasingly important role in setting out and implementing the framework of local climate actions to achieve the goal of net zero emissions. Enhanced cooperation between subnational and national governments will be crucial in helping countries achieve ambitious 2030 goals and net-zero emissions no later than 2050. As the end of January 2022, 1115 cities and regions have registered themselves in the Race to Zero, a global campaign of non-state actors.

In Japan, as of 31 January 2022, 534 local and regional governments announced their intention to pursue a net-zero emissions target by 2050, which accounts for about 89% of the total population. The Japanese government developed the Regional Decarbonisation Roadmap in cooperation with subregional governments in June 2021, setting out priority measures and actions to achieve zero carbon such as the creation of at least 100 "leading decarbonised regions" by fiscal 2030. At the global level, more subnational governments will increase their ambition in addressing climate change and set a goal of net zero at least by 2050.

The net-zero emission target requires bold measures to transform our social systems. While this will not be an easy task, it will give us opportunities to build back better from the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

The objective of this forum was to;

  1. 1.  Share leading subnational climate policies and actions.
  2. 2.  Encourage city-to-city collaboration for expanding the “Decarbonisation Domino Effect” by sharing lessons and opportunities.
  3. 3.  Discuss how multi-level governance can facilitate local and national climate actions.

Summary Document (PDF 106KB)

Event Details

Day 1: 9 March 2022 20:00-22:15 (EST) , Day 2: 10 March 7:00-9:15 (EST)

Online (YouTube live streaming was provided)

Office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, United States of America
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat
Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCOM)
Japanese / English
(Simultaneous interpretation)

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
[email protected]

Presentation Materials

Day 1: 9 March 2022

Time: 20:00-22:15 (EST)

20:00 Video message KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister, Japan
Opening Remarks YAMAGUCHI Tsuyoshi, Minister of the Environment, Japan PDF (190KB)
Rahm Emanuel, United States Ambassador to Japan
20:15 Framing Session Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC (Video Appearance)
20:25 Session 1: Net Zero Transition: how cities are moving towards zero carbon

Local climate action is critical to achieve the zero carbon emission target by 2050, and it is important to encourage more subregional governments to raise ambitions and ensure proactive policy planning and implementation. This session aimed to share commitments and lessons of leaders of subnational governments towards the zero-carbon goal.

  Bruce Harrell, Mayor of Seattle City, US
AKIMOTO Katsuhiro, Mayor of Sapporo City, Japan PDF (2.5MB)
Marcos Penido, Secretary of Infrastructure and Environment of the São Paulo State, Brazil (Video Appearance)
Cameron Dick, Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Australia (Video Appearance)
Katja Dörner, Mayor, City of Bonn, Germany (Video Appearance)
Moderator Angie Fyfe, Executive Director, ICLEI USA
21:05 Break
21:10 Session 2: Working Together for Zero Carbon Society – national-subnational and city-to-city cooperation

Cooperation of actors is key to achieving zero carbon goals. Local and regional governments got together at COP26 to emphasize that cooperation between national and subnational governments is essential to pursue the 1.5 degree C target. Such multilevel cooperation includes policy alignment of national and local climate policies as well as appropriate national support to local and regional governments. At COP26, it was reported that mutual learning through city-to-city collaboration could be a key driver to raise ambitions and accelerate actions. This session provided snapshots of national governments’ actions to facilitate cooperation with and support actions of subnational governments and city-to-city cooperation towards zero carbon society.

  ONO Hiroshi, Director-General, Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, Japann PDF (598KB)
Vera Rodenhoff, Head of Division IK I 4 - International Cooperation on the Environment, Energy and Cities, OECD and OECD countries, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (Video appearance)
IGARASHI Mihoko, Associate Manager of the Global Environment and Sustainability Office, Environmental Protection Bureau and MATSUDA Asataro, Staff of the International Economic Affairs Office, Economic and Labor Affairs Bureau, City of Kawasaki, Japan PDF (2.4MB)
Victoria Simon, Director of Operations, Sustainability Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, US PDF (1.6MB)
Sudarmanto Budi Nugroho Research Manager, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) (proxy of Irvan Pulungan, Governor Special Envoy for Climate Change and Coastal Development, Jakarta, Indonesia) PDF(1.6MB)
Moderator UCHIDA Togo, Executive Director, ICLEI Japan
22:10 Closing Remarks SHODA Yutaka, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, MOEJ 
22:15 Closure of the day 1

Day 2: 10 March 2022

Time: 7:00-9:15 (EST)

7:00 Opening Remarks SHODA Yutaka, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, MOEJ  
Jane Nishida, Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, USEPA  
Parallel Session 1: City-to-City Collaboration: accelerating the decarbonization domino

The Ministry of the Environment, Japan has been promoting city-to-city collaboration since 2013, aiming to contribute zero/low-carbon development of cities in developing countries by providing know-how, technologies, products, and systems that Japanese local governments have been accumulating while tackling environment and climate issues. Such collaboration has been contributing to increased ambitions and climate policies/actions of partner cities. This session introduced the benefits and outcomes of city-to-city collaboration towards zero-carbon target.

  • HASHIMOTO Toru, Director General International Affairs Bureau, City of Yokohama Yokohama, Japan PDF (749KB)
  • Hà Thị Kim Nguyễn, Deputy Manage of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources and Environment , Da Nang, Viet Nam PDF (2.9MB)
  • Wiruch Tanchanapradit, Director of the Air Quality and Noise Management Division, Department of the Environment, Bangkok, Thailand PDF (2.7MB)
  • CHAKI Seiichi, Deputy Director General of the Environmental Department, Toyama City, Japan PDF (1.7B)
  • Claudio Castro Salas, Mayor of Municipality of Renca, Chile PDF (2.2MB)
  • María González, Principal, International Relations, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, UK PDF(893KB)

Moderator: FUJINO Junichi, Program Director, Integrated Sustainability Centre, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

Parallel Session 2: Zero Carbon Challenges: trends and initiatives to promote transition in key areas

This session shared trends and challenges of city actions including in the building and transportation sectors from the perspective of international or research organizations. Information was be shared on various support programs.

  • Missy Stults, Sustainability and Innovations Director, City of Ann Arbor, US
  • SUGAWARA Sachio, Director of the Eco-City Promotion Department, Environmental Bureau, Sapporo City, Japan PDF (1.8MB)
  • Faela Sufa, Southeast Asia Director, ITDP PDF (2.5MB)
  • Antonette Anaban, Assistant City Planning and Development Coordinator, City Government of Baguio, Philippines PDF (2.2MB)
  • Nicolas E. Dei Castelli, Senior Transport Specialist, Sustainable Infrastructure Division, East Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

Moderator: Emani Kumar, Deputy Secretary General and Executive Director, ICLEI South Asia PDF (1.9MB)

8:00 Break    
Parallel Session 3: Pursuing Resilient Cities

COP26 highlighted the importance of action on climate adaptation. When tackling climate change, it is vital to consider nature and equity issues. This session shared local actions on climate adaptation and how collaboration between national and local governments as well as among cities can facilitate ways to strengthen adaptation actions at the local level.

  • Patricia Gómez, Senior Resilience Program Manager, Office of Resilience, Miami-Dade County, US PDF (4.1MB)
  • ANZAI Shiyu, Director of the Environment Bureau Environmental Conservation Department, Chiba City, Japan PDF (2.2MB)
  • Sameer Deshkar, Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture and Planning of Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT), India PDF (2.7MB)
  • Joe Recalex Alingasa, City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer, San Carlos, Philippines PDF (1.8MB)
  • Marc Van den Neste, CTO of AGC Glass Europe and Chairman of the Greenwin Cluster (Video Appearance)

Moderator: Kavita Sinha, Director a.i. of the Division of Private Sector Facility, Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Parallel Session 4: Zero Carbon Urban Development (zero carbon town development)

To realize zero carbon community, climate concerns should be included in urban planning. This session introduced some concrete actions taken by subregional governments and local stakeholders to make cities/regions zero-carbon, including zero-carbon town initiatives and policies to accelerate the renovation wave.

  • Chin Siong Ho, Professor, Faculty Built Environment and Surveying, University of Technology Malaysia, Wangsa Maju Town, Malaysia
  • Arpamart Chanmeka, Deputy Director of EEC Smart City Department, Eastern Economic Corridor Office, Thailand PDF (1.6MB)
  • Leo Christensen, Member of City Council of Lolland Municipality, Denmark PDF (368KB)
  • DOYASHIKI Makoto, Manager, Promoting Partnership Division, Planning and Economic Department, City of Ishikari City, Japan PDF (2.6MB)
  • Joanna Masic, Lead Urban Specialist for Cities and Climate Change and Global Lead for the Sustainable City Infrastructure and Services Global Solutions Group

Moderator: MATSUMOTO Tadashi, Head of Sustainable Urban Development Unit, OECD

8:55 Break    
9:00 Closing Plenary (review of the forum from Rapporteurs)
9:10 Closing remarks

Reed Schuler, Senior Advisor to Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

SHODA Yutaka, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, MOEJ
9:15 Closure of the forum