The need to decarbonise our lifestyles to help limit global warming to 1.5°C is now widely recognized, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group III titled Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change released in April 2022. It states that demand-side mitigation through changes in consumption can lead to a 40%-70% reduction in GHG emissions. Achieving demand-side climate mitigation requires not only individual consumer awareness and actions but also comprehensive changes that involve four other vital drivers: business and corporate, political, and institutional, technological and infrastructure, and sociocultural, including social norms, and collaborations. Therefore, cooperation between governments, businesses, and citizens is indispensable to mobilising the full extent of their knowledge and capabilities.
Over the past decade, two innovations have been effective in promoting collaboration and co-creation to harness the knowledge and capabilities of governments, businesses, and citizens to address climate change. First, they are increasingly working together to decarbonise their communities and adapt to climate change. In addition to initiatives adopted in specific domains, such as renewable energy, and the shift to sustainable food sources, actions at the local level are increasingly incorporating participatory approaches. One example is the Citizens Councils on Climate, where citizens play a key role in developing city action plans.
Second, innovative methods have been developed to provide scientific data to governments, businesses, and citizens when discussing current problems and desirable visions and taking concrete actions. Among these, the carbon footprint analysis has the potential to promote active citizen participation in decarbonization by showing the link between citizen and corporate behavior and climate change in an easy-to-understand manner.
The international conference titled Innovations in Citizen Engagement Toward Advancing the Decarbonisation of Cities and Lifestyles aims to learn from the experiences of five cities that are working with their citizens toward societies. Conference attendees discussed methods and issues to promote collaboration between governments, businesses, and citizens.
IGES Sustainable Consumption and Production
Programme Director, Atsushi Watabe
|18:00-18:05||Introduction&Programme overview||Watabe, Programme Director, IGES Sustainable Consumption and Production Area|
|18:05-18:20||Setting the scene||
Decarbonisation efforts of cities/municipalities with citizens in cities, 1.5-Degree Lifestyles and citizen engagement
Satoshi Kojima, Director, IGES Kansai Research Centre
Atsushi Watabe, Programme Director, IGES Sustainable Consumption and Production Area
Dr Maggie Bosanquet, Low Carbon Economy Team Leader, Durham County, United Kingdom
|Mr Navin Rai, Additional Chief Town Planner and Nodal Officer (Smart Cities Mission-Gangtok and Namchi), Sikkim, India||PDF (9.9MB)|
|Dr Franka Bindernagel, Coordinator of International Relations and Town Twinning, Municipality of Solingen, Germany||PDF (2.3MB)|
|Dr Kazuaki Takahashi, Executive Director for Planning and Coordination Department of Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama, Japan||PDF (1.8MB)|
|Mr Kazushi Kuroda, Director for the Environment Division, City of Odate, Japan||PDF (1.0MB)|
|Mr Taishi Arimura, Chief Investigator, Environment Policy Division, City of Kagoshima, Japan||PDF (3.9MB)|
Opportunities and challenges for enhanced & inclusive engagement of citizens in cities’ climate mitigation
Topic 1: Opportunities for citizen engagement
Topic 2: Challenges in citizen engagement
Yasuo Takahashi, IGES Executive Director