Climate Change

August 25, 2021
(Photo 1) The first “Ainori-kun” solar power station in Ueda City, Nagano The first “Ainori-kun” solar power station in Ueda City, Nagano (Photo: Ueda Citizen Energy)
(Photo 2) Public Private Partnership Project “SUWACO Labo” in Suwa City, Nagano Public Private Partnership Project “SUWACO Labo” in Suwa City, Nagano (Photo: Shinshu Renewable Energy Network)

Initiatives by stakeholders in various fields to implement the Paris Agreement

The involvement of various non-state stakeholders including private sector, local governments, NGOs, and civil society is essential as stated in the Paris Agreement and the COP decisions. In order to achieve the 2°C goal and other targets in the Paris Agreement, it is important to cooperate with these stakeholders and collectively strive together to tackle climate change.
Under this principle, each municipality in Japan has actively set up specific targets and launched initiatives to address climate change. Some examples of these initiatives are introduced below. The Government of Japan will further cooperate with stakeholders in various fields in steadily implementing the Paris Agreement.

Association of Japan's leading local governments in climate change measures

(Image) ICLEI Japan Logo

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability is the leading global network of more than 2,500 cities, towns and regions in 125 countries committed to building a sustainable future. ICLEI Japan supports local initiatives for sustainability, and promotes global collaboration to achieve regional and global sustainability goals in partnership with other ICLEI offices and partner organizations across the globe. In Japan, 21 local governments are currently ICLEI members, which represent 30% of the total population of Japan.

Yokohama city

Climate Change Policy Headquarters
(Image) Yokohama Climate Change Policy Headquaters Logo

Yokohama City aims at decarbonization by 2050 as a goal of its global warming countermeasures. The Climate Change Policy Headquarters of Yokohama City has been actively addressing climate change by taking various measures in the field of energy saving, renewable energy deployment, etc. under the slogan of “Zero Carbon Yokohama.”

To achieve the goal, the city has promoted activities by utilizing the strength of its citizens as well as innovative actions in active cooperation with private companies and academia. In addition, in collaboration with the world's leading cities, organizations, networks, the city has widely disseminated its efforts of "Zero Carbon Yokohama" to the world to attract many people and companies to Yokohama.

“SDGs Future City”
(Image) “Future City” Initiative Logo

Being selected as a "Future City" in 2011 by the Government of Japan, Yokohama City has actively addressed urban development to improve its economy and enhance the quality of citizen's life while reducing environmental impact. In 2018, Yokohama city was selected as a "SDGs Future City" by the Government of Japan. To contribute to achieving SDGs as a “SDGs Future City,” the city has made efforts to further enhance these activities. For example, the Yokohama SDGs Design Center, established as an intermediary support organization that tackles issues by itself or in cooperation with a variety of actors, is leading various initiatives.

Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP)

Since 2010, through Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP) as a pilot project, the city has provided a system which is to optimize energy supply and demand at the level of individual houses, commercial buildings as well as urban areas, in cooperation with 34 companies, including leading energy companies, electrical manufacturers, and construction companies. In 2015, a new public-private body, the Yokohama Smart Business Association (YSBA), was established. The city has promoted further efforts for energy management, such as the implementation of the newly formulated YSCP3.0 master plan.

Nagano Prefecture

The Nagano Declaration at the 2019 G20 Ministerial Meeting
(Image) Nagano prefecture Logo

In June 2019, Nagano Prefecture, in cooperation with ICLEI Japan, announced the Nagano Declaration on Partnership for Collaborative Action for Sustainable Development at the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, held in Karuizawa Town, Nagano.
Recognizing the necessity of a Circulating and Ecological Economy, the declaration aims to foster an autonomous, decentralized network of collaboration between various local governments, providing specific items upon which for local governments to collaborate, as well as calling on G20 countries’ support (in assisting local governments, etc.).
This declaration is endorsed by 96 local governments in Japan and 35 overseas local governments and research institutes (as of the end of July 2020). Collaborating with the local governments and NGOs of inside and outside of Japan, Nagano Prefecture has taken active climate actions to contribute to the decarbonization of the world.

Climate Emergency Declaration / Climate Crisis Breakthrough Policies

In October 2019, Nagano Prefecture incurred severe typhoon damages. In December 2019, Nagano became the first prefecture to issue a Climate Emergency Declaration, announcing its intention to “Go Zero Carbon by 2050.” In April 2020, Nagano Prefecture announced the Nagano Prefecture Climate Crisis Breakthrough Policies, to realize the goals outlined in the December 2019 Climate Emergency Declaration. In addition, Nagano Prefecture began the Climate Crisis Breakthrough Projects, aimed at tackling difficult challenges such as urban development and development of new technologies through cooperation and collaboration with various actors. By combining these projects with existing initiatives, Nagano Prefecture has strived to accelerate its efforts toward the realization of decarbonization.

Shinshu Renewable Energy Network
(Image) Shinshu Renewable Energy Network Logo

The Shinshu Renewable Energy Network is a collaborative network, connecting citizens and private companies to the prefectural government in order to foster more efficient use of the abundant renewable energy sources of Nagano. It aims to create and develop local-community-driven models for renewable energy generation. In addition to providing a prefecture-wide platform for collaborative efforts by various entities involved in renewable energy generation, the network aims to create community-driven models for the creation of new energy business. Aligning with its three pillars of “plan,” “communicate,” and “develop,” the network has hosted local conferences and seminars and facilitated professional development opportunities in cooperation with the prefectural government.

Ueda Citizen Energy
(Image) Ueda Citizen Energy image

Focusing on Nagano Prefecture’s abundant solar radiation, Ueda Citizen Energy has built a citizen-led business model “Ainori-kun,” which means “ride-sharing” in Japanese. Ainori-kun aims to expand renewable energy generation by providing revenue to citizens who invest in solar panel installation. Ainori-kun startedin March 2012 with a project of installing solar panels on residential roofs in Ueda City and has expanded its scope. As of August 2020, it has installed solar panels in 50 locations including farm lands, private offices, factories and public facilities, receiving investments totaling more than JPY 140 million from approximately 260 investors from all across Japan.

Saitama City

“E-KIZUNA Project” Promoting the dissemination of electric vehicle
(Image) E-KIZUNA Project Logo

As a measure to reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, Saitama City has been implementing the "E-KIZUNA Project" since 2009 to promote spread of next-generation vehicles such as electric vehicles (EV) and fuel cell vehicles (FCV). The city has held "E-KIZUNA Summit" 9 times in order to widely expand this initiative to other areas through multi-level and multi-dimensional cooperation with local governments and companies. In the future, Saitama City will develop and expand the network it has built up so far by leaning knowledge of excellence through exchanges and collaborations with overseas environmentally advanced cities.
Furthermore, Saitama City will hold "E-KIZUNA Global Summit" to disseminate the efforts that the city has made so far in Japan and overseas.

Smart City Saitama model

As a priority project of the "Special Zone for Next-Generation Vehicles/Smart Energy," designated by the national government as one of the comprehensive special zones, Saitama City has been promoting efforts to improve the environment, energy supply and resilience. This includes ensuring energy security to continuously supply variety of energies including hydrogen even in the event of natural disasters, publicly demonstrating personal mobility, and developing low-carbon, disaster-resistant and community-forming city districts. Based on these efforts, the city has been working to build an ideal smart city model in Misono district, a sub-center of the city. In collaboration with public, private and academic sectors, we are working together to provide life support services to improve the quality of life of residents by utilizing IoT, AI and personal data.

The city also makes efforts in forming local communities through holding farmers‘ market with local farmers and supporting child-care activities through mutual aid at local levels.

In Japan, disasters caused by global warming have become severer and the local economy has stagnated due to COVID-19. In this context, Saitama City will continue to promote initiatives toward the realization of smart city with an emphasis on green recovery.

Kyoto City

Promoting the “Kyoto Ordinance on Achieving CO2 Zero Emissions 2050”
(Image)Promoting the “Kyoto Ordinance on Achieving CO2 Zero Emissions 2050”

Kyoto City has declared to achieve Net-Zero CO2 emissions by 2050 ahead of other local governments in Japan, and the City clearly states it in the “Kyoto Ordinance on Achieving CO2 Zero Emissions 2050,” which came into effect in April 2021. In addition, the City has formulated the Kyoto City Plan of Global Warming Countermeasures as an action plan for the “Decade of Action,” that is crucial for the realization of a decarbonized society in order to accelerate transformation in such four fields as lifestyle, business, energy and mobility, to implement measures for carbon sinks such as forests, and to take climate change adaptation measures.

Action to Maximize Renewable Energy Generation to Net-Zero CO2 emissions by 2050
(Image)Action to Maximize Renewable Energy Generation to Net-Zero CO2 emissions by 2050

To achieve Net-Zero CO2 emissions by 2050, it is crucial to thoroughly promote energy efficiency, and to enhance transition of essential energy for daily lives and business activities to renewable energy sources which are without CO2 emissions during power generation. Kyoto City has implemented various projects to expand the introduction of renewable energy in terms of both “creation" (installation of solar power generation equipment, etc.)" and "use (switching to renewable energy electricity)."


Generate renewable energy:

Use renewable energy:

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