Climate Change

Initiatives by stakeholders in various fields
to implement the Paris Agreement: Leading Municipalities

October 5, 2018

  • (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 2) Public Private Partnership Project “SUWACO Labo” in Suwa city, Nagano
    Public Private Partnership Project “SUWACO Labo” in Suwa city, Nagano
  • (Photo 3) Solar Sharing Summit 2017 in Ueda city, Nagano
    Solar Sharing Summit 2017 in Ueda city, Nagano

Initiatives by stakeholders in various fields to implement the Paris Agreement

The involvement of various non-state stakeholders including such as private sector, local governments, NGOs, and civil society is essential as stated in the Paris Agreement and the COP decisions. In order to achieve 2°C target and other targets in the Paris Agreement, it is important to cooperate with these stakeholders and strive as one to tackle climate change.
Under this principle, each municipality in Japan has actively set up specific targets and launched initiatives to address climate change. A part of these initiatives are introduced in the following. The Japanese government 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 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future. ICLEI Japan supports the local initiatives for sustainability, and promote 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 member and it represents 30% of the total population.

Yokohama city

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

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 and adaptation planning. Based on the Yokohama City Action Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures, the city sets a goal to reduce 80% of the greenhouse gas emission by FY 2050. Yokohama also takes adaptation measures to minimize and prevent the adverse effect of climate change.

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

Being selected as "Future City", one of key components of New Growth Strategy by the Government of Japan, Yokohama City is committed to address challenges such as hyper aging society and environmental problems including climate change, while exercising creativity of the city and generating social vitality. Yokohama city will promote such activities at home and abroad and aim to revitalize the economy of the city.

Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP)

Since 2010, through Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP), the city has provided a system optimizing energy supply and demand at individual homes, commercial buildings and in urban areas, in cooperation with 34 companies, including leading energy company, electrical manufacturer, and construction companies. In 2015, a new public-private body, the Yokohama Smart Business Association (YSBA), was established. Yokohama aims to become an energy-recycling city that is environmentally friendly, resilient to disaster, and economically efficient by utilizing the outcome of demonstration experiments and promoting the commercialization of such experimental projects.

Nagano prefecture

Nagano prefecture
(Image) Nagano prefecture Logo

In 2013, Nagano prefecture adopted its Environment and Energy Strategy (Third prefectural plan on global warming prevention). Both measures against climate change as well as energy and environment policy are included in the strategy. Nagano prefecture is taking active climate actions to realize a sustainable and low carbon community.
With regard to the climate change policy, Nagano prefecture aims to “strengthen”, “complement” and “add value to” the central government’s policy. Nagano prefecture is in a leading position among local governments in the field of climate change. For example, Nagano prefecture set its ambitious goals for greenhouse gas emission reduction and energy self-sufficiency rate. Nagano’s self-sufficiency rate has risen by more than 40% from 2010 to 2016 and reached above 90% in 2016, indicating its successful policy [Note].
Nagano prefecture has also made variety of arrangements to support efforts made by local communities. The prefectural government collaborates with Shinshu Renewable Energy Network, local network that promotes renewable energy. The renewable energy projects conducted by local residents and community, such as Ueda Citizen Energy, have been expanding in the prefecture and many projects are now in practice.
In addition to the renewable energy policy, energy saving and energy efficiency are other focused area of Nagano prefecture. A typical and traditional image of energy saving was to “endure and persevere”. Nagano prefecture is now trying to replace such image by introducing a more positive concept of energy saving is “beneficial”, and the people need to use energy “wisely”, “a more systemic approach” is important in saving energy. Under the banner of such key concepts, Nagano prefecture is making effort to establish an energy saving habit in the daily life of local community.

[Note] Energy self-sufficiency rate refers to the ratio between the energy demand to power generating capacity in Nagano prefecture.

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

The main focus of the organization is to connect local citizens, communities, private companies to the prefectural government in order to efficiently utilize the abundant renewable energy sources of Nagano. It also aims to create a local-community-driven model for renewable energy generation. Shinshu Renewable Energy Network provides prefectural-wide platform regarding renewable energy to help forming a network in the prefecture and coordinate various entities dealing with renewable energy. The Network has three pillars in its activity; “plan”, “communicate” and “develop”. With regard to “plan” and “communicate”, the organization arranges seminars and meetings where local communities could exchange views. As for “develop”, the Network extends assistance to citizens and local entities and helps them develop their human resource engaging in the renewable energy sector of the local communities. In any of the activities mentioned above, Shinshu Renewable Energy Network cooperates closely with Nagano prefecture.

Ueda Citizen Energy
(Image) Ueda Citizen Energy image

Ueda Citizen Energy took advantage of Nagano prefecture for its abundant solar energy as well as the length of sunshine duration and established a citizen-led model called “Ainori-kun (literal meaning of this is ride-sharing)”. In this model, citizens make investment for solar power generation and earn from electric power sales. By inviting citizen investors, Ueda Citizen Energy aims to promote renewable energy projects in Ueda city. The first project of Ainori-kun started by setting solar power panels on the house owned by Ueda city citizen in March 2012 and ever since the business continues to expand by utilizing the spaces such as farm land, roofs of factories and public facilities. As of March 2018, 221 people from all over Japan invested in 42 projects and the total amount of the investment amounts to approximately 112 million yen.