International conference on climate change and fragility in the Asia-Pacific region
— Interlinkage among science, regional studies and business from the perspective of long-term climate risks
June 8, 2018
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will hold an international conference on climate change and fragility in the Asia-Pacific region, inviting experts on climate change, regional experts, international business and finance in and outside of Japan, at the Mita Kaigisyo (Mita Conference Center) in Tokyo, Japan, July 12, 2018. Respected experts in climate science, regional studies, finance, business and government will discuss the challenges posed by climate risks in the Asia-Pacific region, and how countries and regions would ensure sustainable development of their economy and society while addressing such challenges as rapid urbanization, movement of people, extreme weather events and food insecurity. The conference will build upon the findings from the report titled Analysis and Proposal of Foreign Policies Regarding the Impact of Climate Change on Fragility in the Asia-Pacific Region — With focus on natural disasters in the Region — released on September 2017 as well as outcome of the follow-up meeting of experts in Japan on March 28, 2018.
1. Background and the objective of the conference
Climate change is considered as one of the most serious challenges that pose threats to global security and economic prosperity. The G7 Foreign Ministers have been discussing this topic since 2013, through working group on climate change and fragility. The G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers' Meeting in 2017 recognized the urgency of addressing climate-fragility risks and stressed the importance of aligning efforts on foreign policy towards the common goal of reducing the risks in order to increase resilience against global climate change.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan organized a roundtable seminar on climate change and fragility implications on international security in January 2017 and its follow-up review meetings. The seminar and meetings proposed such actions as:
- - study and discuss climate change and fragility in Asia and Pacific region;
- - explore concrete approaches to be taken by the government; and
- - make proposals to the related G7 Foreign Ministers' meetings.
As a follow up, Japan submitted the report about analysis on climate change impacts to natural disasters in Asia and Pacific region and correlation with socioeconomic fragility in the region at the working group held in Rome in October 2017 to the G7 Italian presidency. The findings of report were also shared at COP23 Preparatory Workshop in Suva, Fiji as well as COP23 in Bonn, Germany.
At this international conference on climate change and fragility in the Asia-Pacific region, the participants are encouraged to discuss various aspects of fragility and security, risk management of companies in the regions and investment risks brought by climate change with particular emphasis on extreme weather events and resilient infrastructure. Participants will explore approaches/actions which central/local governments, and companies, think tanks, researchers and civil society can take to address potential risks in the future through considering scenarios.
The discussion will build upon the findings of the 2017 report as well as feedback and comments given at various occasions including follow-up meeting of experts on March 28, 2018. The outcome of the conference will be released on this page and will be utilized as proposals in international conferences including the working group.
Expected outcomes of the conference include summary of the event and the key findings made through the discussion and interactive scenarios which will be published in a report by the organizer. The key findings will be presented to various international fora by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan so as to promote a more holistic approach towards climate change diplomacy that encompasses development, security, business and finance. The Foreign Ministry intends to draw up lessons from the conference to be utilized at international for such as G7, G20 and COP.
- Date and times:
- 10:00 - 16:00 JST on July 12, 2018
- Mita Kaigisyo (Mita Conference Center), 2-1-8 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073, Japan
- Expected participants:
- Corporate executives, professionals and risk managers with businesses or investments throughout the region, climate researchers, regional experts, development assistance professionals, Japanese NGOs and think tank representatives, and government representatives (from the capital Embassy) (around 100 for total)
Note: Invite only
- Working language:
- English (no interpretation service available)
- Morning (open to press)
- Keynote speech
Mr. Yoichi Kato, Senior Research Fellow, Asia Pacific Initiative (former national security correspondent of Asahi Shimbun and bureau chief of American General Bureau in Washington, DC.)
- Panel discussion [note 1]
- Mr. Alexander CARIUS, Managing Director, Adelphi
- Dr. Yasuko KAMEYAMA, Deputy Director, Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan (NIES)
- Ms. Mari YOSHITAKA, Chief Consultant, Clean Energy Finance Division, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd.
- Dr. Megumi MUTO, Deputy Director, Global Environment Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
- Dr. Daisaku HIGASHI, Professor, Center for Global Education and Discovery, Sophia University
- Afternoon (closed)
- Breakout session [note 2] (interactive scenario exercise)
- Panel discussion [note 3]
- Mr. Ulu Bismarck CRAWLEY, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa
- Ms. Sally YOZELL, Senior Associate & Director, Environmental Security Program, The Stimson Center
- Dr. Koji DAIRAKU, Senior Researcher, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED)
- Ms. Miho KUROSAKI, Head of Japan and Korea Research, Bloomberg New Energy Finance
- (A Southeast Asia representative is also being invited.)
- [note 1] The morning panel session will focus on the respective roles of science, regional studies and business in addressing climate risks. The panellists will explore how scientific data and findings will be effectively leveraged to form sound regional policies ensuring stable business and investments. As these three areas are often discussed in isolation, the panel tries to identify how each area can complement one another in the context of climate change.
- [note 2] In the break out session (interactive scenario exercise) in the afternoon, the participants will be divided into four to five groups. They will be given a scenario set in near future site in Southeast Asia or Pacific Islands and discuss how to deal with possible climate-change-affected natural disasters and long-term risks. Each participant will be given a role such as a plant manager of a Japanese company, staff at Tokyo headquarters, officials of the host government, investors who have stake in the plant operation, and official at the Japanese Embassy. As the scenario develops overtime, the participants will tackle not only immediate risks but long-term implication of climate change and how to ensure sustainable economic and social development as well as sound business activities and investment. They will consider what kind of critical information would be required to make informed decision such as long-term scientific data, corporate policy that incorporates climate risks and so forth. Each group uses either scenarios (PDF) (Southeast Asia or Pacific Islands). The group member list and specific role will be distributed upon arrival at the conference. It is expected that this interactive session will provide an opportunity for the participants to discuss the nexus between climate change and fragility from diverse and broad point of view.
- [note 3] After the breakout session, the participants will share the outcomes at the plenary session. Building upon the reports from breakout groups, the panellists will discuss what needs to be considered when incorporating climate change measures in regional policies and/or business strategy and roles of scientific data should play.