On 6th July, 2020, Japan Climate Initiative (JCI) reached its 2nd anniversary. The developments and the achievements made during the 2nd year and the future developments that are planned in the coming year are shown below.
- Three achievements
- Increased up to 485 members with 107 new organizations joining during the past year
JCI started with 105 groups on July 6, 2018, and 107 new organizations have joined during the 2nd year, bringing the total to 485 members (347 companies, 33 municipalities, and 105 others). New members include companies such as Mitsubishi Estate, FamilyMart, Brother Industries that have the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets approved by Science Based Target initiative, and Rakuten that participated in RE100. In addition, Swiss Reinsurance Company Japan Branch, Dai-ichi Life Holdings, and Nippon Life Insurance from the insurance industry, three local governments such as Mie Prefecture, and Soka Gakkai, a religious group, have also joined as new members. The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions and population of JCI members accounts for more than one-third of Japan’s total.
*Company: the GHGs emission and the power consumption are aggregated from 120 member companies whose data is available.
Municipality: the GHGs emission is the net total of the member municipalities without double counting.
- Raise the voices of Japanese non-state actors domestically and globally calling on the Japanese government to strengthen climate change countermeasures
On February 4, this year, JCI issued a message calling on the Japanese government to enhance its NDC, including revisions to greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and submitted the message to Minister of the Environment, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Minister for Foreign Affairs. This message was signed by 248 members (159 companies, 25 municipalities, 64 other organizations). In response to this message, global investors and business groups also sent a letter to the Japanese government requesting it to raise the NDC.
Although the Japanese government submitted the NDC to the UNFCCC without raising it, Minister of the Environment Koizumi said, “Without the support of JCI members, we couldn’t refer to Japan’s willingness to aim for aspiring figures in the NDC beyond the current target of 26%, reflecting further ambitious reduction efforts.” The message contributed to making the foundation for strengthening reduction measures in the future review of the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures.
Furthermore, on May 13, the JCI Steering Committee issued a message asking for “green recovery” to contribute to the transition to the decarbonized society in the recovery from the economic crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 infection. In response to this message, an online meeting was held on June 10th between JCI company members and Minister of the Environment Koizumi. It was confirmed that the Ministry of the Environment and JCI will continue to cooperate in strengthening climate actions.
- Strengthened collaboration between Japanese and foreign non-state actors
JCI’s wide-ranging activities both domestically and internationally deliver the active efforts and voices of Japanese non-state actors to the world, and serve as a bridge between non-state actors in Japan and abroad. At the climate related events held in NY during the United Nations Climate Action Summit last September 2019, a total of about 50 people participated from JCI members including about 20 companies/financial institutions, local governments such as Tokyo and Yokohama, and JCI Secretariat that are CDP Japan, Renewable Energy Institute and WWF Japan. Through various events, JCI showcased the climate efforts of Japanese companies and local governments to the world, and shared experiences and exchanged information with non-state actors in the world including the United States.
JCI also participated as a member of the Japanese government delegation at COP25 held from December 2 to December 13. During the conference period, JCI took part in three events, including the one organized by JCI. Same as COP24 two years ago, JCI disseminated the efforts of Japanese non-state actors to the world through exchanges with other non-state actor’s networks such as We Are Still In / America’s Pledge in the United States and Alliances for Climate Action that is a global network of domestic coalitions of non-state actors.
- Future developments
- Participate from Japan in the campaign “Race to Zero” aiming at strengthening climate actions globally toward COP26
“Race to Zero” was launched as a new international campaign for non-state actors on June 5, this year. This campaign is conducted under the initiative of leaders called “High-Level Champions” selected from the COP Presidency of the previous time and this time. It aims at strengthening efforts of non-state actors towards decarbonization without waiting for COP 26 postponed next year, and also aims for “Green Recovery, Zero Carbon Recovery” from the COVID-19 crisis. JCI will actively participate in this campaign.
- Strengthen climate change countermeasures through revisions of the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and the Strategic Energy Plan
Prior to COP26 held in November 2021, the Japanese government will consider revisions of the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures and the Strategic Energy Plan. JCI will proceed with discussions and hold dialogues with the Japanese government so that these amendments will become proactive toward the realization of a decarbonized society in terms of the phase-out of coal-fired power plants and the significant expansion of renewable energy etc.
- Actively hold seminars and workshops on experience exchange among JCI members, climate crisis, energy policy, green recovery etc.
JCI will organize “Japan Climate Action Summit 2020” on Tuesday, October 13, this year, with the aim of further raising the momentum toward decarbonization in Japan. In addition, JCI will regularly hold seminars and workshops for JCI members on themes of coal-fired power issues, carbon pricing, Japan’s energy mix towards 2030, etc. to promote sharing of knowledge and experience among members.