On 27 May 2021, the European Union (EU) and Japan announced a Green Alliance to accelerate their respective transition towards a climate-neutral, circular and resource-efficient economy over the coming decades. The alliance is the first of its kind for the EU and represents an important milestone for the implementation of the European Green Deal and Japan’s Green Growth Strategy. “The EU-Japan 100 Cities Event on Climate Action” contributed to the discussion on how the EU and Japan could enhance cooperation at city level in order to meet the shared goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. This event, organised by Delegation of the European Union to Japan (EUD) and IGES was held on 25 and 26 January aiming to facilitate exchange between EU and Japanese cities through sharing good practices and solutions taken by leading cities.
The threats posed by climate change are increasing all over the world, and cities are at the forefront of increasing loss and damage incurred by flooding, drought, extreme heat, sea-level rise, and more. Cities represent the level of government closest to citizens and are the first to witness and address the impacts of climate change. Thus, both the EU and Japan recognize the important role cities play to engage their communities to implement climate ambitions, with timely action to reach the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Globally, cities consume more than 65% of the world’s energy, accounting for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. It is therefore crucial that cities act as experimentation and innovation ecosystems to help all others in their transition to become climate-neutral by 2050. Given the importance of cities, both the EU and Japan are supporting local governments’ efforts to raise their ambitions and promote local climate actions to achieve zero carbon emission goals by 2050.
On 28 April 2022, the European Commission (EC) announced the 100 EU cities that will participate in the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, the so-called Cities Mission. The EU mission selected 100 smart and carbon-neutral cities in European regions and 12 cities from associated countries. It is expected that more cities will follow the selected frontrunner cities and pursue carbon neutrality by 2050.
In June 2021, the Government of Japan developed the Regional Decarbonization Roadmap in cooperation with sub-regional governments, setting out priority measures and actions to achieve zero carbon such as the creation of at least 100 "leading decarbonized regions" by fiscal 2030. In April 2022, the Ministry of the Environment selected the first 26 Decarbonization Leading Areas (DLAs) based on the “Regional Decarbonization Roadmap (RDR)” which includes a target to create more than 100 DLAs by 2025.
The selected cities/areas are expected to implement proposed actions to achieve net-zero target, share their experience with other cities, and pursue carbon neutrality at least by 2050.
Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
2108-11, Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115, Japan
E-mail: [email protected]
|Day 1: 25 January 2023|
|Opening Remarks||Jean-Eric Paquet, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Japan|
|Hiroshi Ono, Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Japan|
|Yasuo Takahashi, Exective Director, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies|
|Scene Setting||Representatives from the EU and Japan to introduce their initiative to support local leading actions towards the carbon neutral goals and roll out the lessons of leading cities.
100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities
Regional Decarbonization Roadmap and 100 Decarbonization Leading Areas in Japan
|Panel 1||Energy Security and Resilience
This session aims to exchange experiences of cities to increase energy security and resilience by facilitating local production and consumption of energy and also address energy poverty.
|Atsushi Otsuki, Director, Regional Revitalization and SDGs Promotion Office, Reconstruction Department, Higashi Matsushima City|
|Tomoaki Yoshida, Assistant Director, Energy Policy Planning Section, City of Kyoto|
|Ivan Ivankovic, Head of Environmental Sustainability, City of Zagreb (Croatia)|
|Jacek Kisiel, Deputy Director in Air Protection and Climate Police Department, City of Warsaw (Poland)|
|Topic presentaion (1)||Gender aspects in climate actions and urban planning
Annika Dalén, Gender Equality and Strategic Development Officer, City of Umea (Sweden)
|Panel 2||Local decarbonisation contributing local economies
This session explores how local governments are able to remove the technology lock-in and facilitate energy transition while realizing a prosperous local economy and addressing climate change issues simultaneously.
|Mitsugi Takenaka, Mayor of Kamishihoro Town|
|Tomomichi Takahashi, Special Director of Policy Making, Sewage Management Promotion Division, Akita Prefecture|
|Risto Veivo, Climate Director, City of Turku (Finland)|
|Caroline Bouvard, Deputy Managing Director for Economic Development, Grenoble-Alpes Metropole (France)|
Summary of the Day 1
|Day 2: 26 January 2023|
|Opening remarks||Giorgia Rambelli,
Director Mission Innovation Urban Transitions Mission
Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
|Panel 3||Smart City and Innovation
This session exchanges innovative ideas and experiences between cities in the EU and Japan to promote development of smart cities and compact cities for local decarbonisation and multi-benefits.
|Kei Onoue, Chief, Decarbonized Society Promotion Division, Environmental Bureau, Nagoya City|
|Osamu Kanda, Supervisor, Futuristic City Promotion Division, Urban Strategy Department, Saitama City|
|Elena Deambrogio, Head of Smart City and EC projects Unit, Innovation Department, City of Torino (Italy)|
|Jordi Peris Blanes Coordinator of Urban Strategies Valencia (Spain)|
|Topic presentaion (2)||Decarbonisation efforts beyond administrative boundaries
Kazuaki Takahashi, Executive Director for Planning and Coordination Department, Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama
|Panel 4||Financing decarbonisation initiatives at local level
This session exchanges innovative ideas and experiences between cities and financial institutions in the EU and Japan to enhance their roles in financing local decarbonisation actions.
|Jan Raes, Climate and Circular Economy Expert, ABN AMRO bank N.V.|
|Mitsuaki Takamoto, Head of Environmental Planning Section, Environmental Policy Division, Department of Civil Affairs, Yonago City|
|Ryo Inoue, Director, Regional Development Dept., San-in Godo Bank Ltd.|
|Mitsunobu Inoue, Deputy Director. Business Strategy Dept., Gogin Energy Co., Ltd.|
|Atsushi Ida, Director, Decarbonization Strategy Promotion Office, Environmental Bureau, Kawasaki City|
|Alexandrina Boyanova, Head of Climate Office, European Investment Bank|
Daisaku Kadokawa, The Mayor of Kyoto City (Japan)(video message)
Christophe Ferrari, The President of Grenoble-Alpes Métropole (France) (video message)
|Haitze Siemers, Deputy Head of the European Union (EU) to Japan|