At COP27: Major Japanese Cities Leave Their Marks

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During the 2022 Climate Change Conference – COP27 – currently underway in Egypt and other major international treaty negotiation events, government delegations play a central role. But side events provide a platform for local governments, NGOs and other observer organizations outside of formal negotiations to leave their mark.

When it comes to global warming, cities often get bad press for their greenhouse gas emissions. But in fact, urban areas around the world are at the forefront of innovations aimed at carbon neutrality, and Japan is no exception.

On November 17, representatives from two pioneering Japanese cities shared their experiences at a COP27 side event. Held in the Japanese pavilion of COP27 and titled “Take action towards zero-carbon cities“, the hybrid event was also broadcast live on YouTube.

Japan aims for a domino effect at COP27

“Cities account for about 70% of global emissions,” said Yoshihiro Mizutani, director of international cooperation for decarbonization transition and sustainable infrastructure at the Ministry of Environment, in his opening remarks. Therefore, Japan is channeling its efforts to help cities reduce their carbon footprint.

Mizutani explained, “Japan aims to designate more than a hundred leading decarbonization zones by 2030…to trigger a decarbonization domino effect.”

The city of Tokorozawa is one of these promising areas. Mayor Masato Fujimoto was present at COP27 and gave a presentation at the side event.

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COP27: Blueberry seedlings growing under solar panels in the city of Tokorozawa (photo courtesy of Seibu Landscape).

Fujimoto presented Tokorozawa’s urban planning policies that promote walking and its community renewable energy projects.

“I place the utmost importance on reconnecting humans and nature, and this leads to my main policy frameworks – achieving a low-carbon city and creating a people-centered city,” he noted.

Yokohama, which participated in a similar event during COP26 in Scotland in 2021, was the other Japanese city at the top of the podium.

Read the rest of this artvsthe here to learn more about Japanese cities leading the way in decarbonization. And find other interesting articles on the environment and the challenges of achieving the SDGs, on our new website Japan 2 Earth (J2E), triggering a transition to the future.

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Author: Susan Yoshimura, Editor-in-Chief, Japan 2 Earth

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