Climate Change

December 13, 2015

1. Overall Summary and Evaluation

  • (1) From November 30 to December 13, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) and the 11th Session of the Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) were held in Paris, France. From Japan, Ms. Tamayo Marukawa, Minister of the Environment, Mr. Seiji Kihara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tsuyoshi Hoshino, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Makoto Oniki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment, and relevant parties from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of the Environment (MOE), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) attended the conferences. On November 30, Prime Minister Abe of Japan and other officials attended the Leaders Event hosted by President Hollande of the French Republic.
  • (2) After holding working level negotiations at the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, negotiations were further conducted at the ministerial level from December 6. The final outcome was the adoption of a new legal framework, the Paris Agreement, on December 12. Japan highly values the adoption of the Paris Agreement, which is a fair and effective framework with participation from all countries.

2. Action taken by the Government of Japan

  • (1) In regard to the Paris Agreement, Japan, as represented by Environment Minister Marukawa and Foreign State Minister Kihara, actively participated in the negotiations and advocated that the new framework should be fair, effective and applicable to all countries, while also contributing to various discussions including by making specific proposals for the draft text of the Agreement.
  • (2) Representing Japan, Environment Minister Marukawa delivered a speech and once again emphasized we should make an effective, legal agreement applicable to all countries, while also stressing the need to set long-term goals and include within the legal agreement a cycle for the submission and review of targets and review mechanisms. Environment Minister Marukawa also stated that Japan will formulate a Global Warming Measures Plan as early as possible and steadily implement measures for reducing emissions, as well as implement specific adaptation measures based on the recently finalized National Adaptation Plan. Furthermore, Environment Minister Marukawa announced that Japan will provide approximately 1.3 trillion yen of public and private climate finance in 2020 to support developing countries, and enhance its development of innovative technologies. Through these statements, Japan helped create the momentum toward the consensus on the Paris Agreement.
  • (3) In addition, Environment Minister Marukawa and Foreign State Minister Kihara had a series of bilateral negotiations with a total of 14 countries and international organizations, including with ministers from France - the president of COP21, the United States, China, India, South Africa, and other major nations, as well as with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other heads of international organizations. In these negotiations, both sides exchanged their views on the new framework and reaffirmed their commitment to closely work together to reach consensus. Furthermore, Environment Minister Marukawa spoke at a various official events such as an event focused on the cities and regions under the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), where she promoted collaborative initiatives between Japan and Asian cities. METI Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hoshino also spoke at many official events such as an event on innovation under the LPAA, where he emphasized the importance of innovation and stressed that Japan can also lead discussions on resolving the issue of global warming with a focus beyond COP21. Environment Parliamentary Vice-Minister Oniki held talks with Mr. Rintaro Tamaki, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Deputy Secretary-General, and Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), among others. During these talks, both sides discussed the direction of the new framework, and exchanged opinions while also listening to the views of international institutions.
  • (4) The 3rd JCM Partner Countries' High-Level Meeting was held for all 16 signatory countries to the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), during which all parties welcomed the progress of JCM and expressed their will to implement JCM through continuing mutual cooperation. Furthermore, Environment Minister Marukawa and Mr. Ramon J.P. Paje, Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippines, signed an aide memoire for establishing JCM between Japan and the Philippines. In addition to this, 18 countries including Japan joined the "Paris Ministerial Declaration on Carbon Markets," which indicates the intent of Parties to cooperate in the use of international market mechanisms.
  • (5) Environment Minister Marukawa and Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France, signed a memorandum for strengthening friendly relations between both nations and on environmental cooperation for building a low-carbon society at the international and national levels.
  • (6) The Japanese Government opened the "Japan Pavilion" during the conferences, in which it introduced various initiatives of the government, institutions, organizations, and researchers in Japan and also held many talk events. Through "Japan Pavilion", the Japanese Government showcased Japan's contributions to tackling climate change.
  • (7) The 4th East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue was held as an official side event for discussing the direction of low carbon growth in the East Asian region. At this event, a summary of proposals based on the achievements made up to the 3rd Dialogue was presented, and excellent examples of low carbon growth were introduced by Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Japan.

3. Outcomes of the Conferences

(1) Adoption of the Paris Agreement

A COP decision was adopted containing the Paris Agreement in its Annex.
The Paris Agreement includes the following elements:

  • Setting a long-term common global goal for holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels
  • Communicating or updating emission reduction target every five years
  • Reporting implementation of a target and undergoing a review in common but flexible manner.
  • Use of market mechanisms, including JCM
  • Taking action to conserve and enhance sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, and taking action to implement and support the existing framework for: policy approaches and positive incentives for activities relating to reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
  • Setting the global goal on adaptation, and engaging in adaptation planning processes and the implementation of actions
  • providing financial resources by developed country Parties to assist developing country, and providing support voluntarily by other Parties
  • The importance of innovation
  • taking stock of the implementation of this Agreement to assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this Agreement and its long-term goals (global stocktake)every five years
  • Entry into force on the thirtieth day after the date on which at least 55 Parties accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
  • the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (COP decision)

These elements also include many proposals from Japan.

(2) Other COP/CMP decisions

The following COP/CMP decisions were also adopted: Matters relating to finance,, Report of the Green Climate Fund to the Conference of the Parties and guidance to the Green Climate Fund, The 2013-2015 review, Report of the Adaptation Committee , Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts , Linkages between the Technology Mechanism and the Financial Mechanism of the Convention., and rules on implementation of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, etc.

(3) Schedule for next COP/CMP

COP22 will be held in November 2016 at Marrakesh in Morocco.

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