On July 6, 2021, Japan Climate Initiative (JCI) reached its 3rd anniversary. The developments and the achievements made during the 3rd year and the future developments that are planned in the coming year are shown below.
1. 174 new organizations joined in the past year, bringing the total to 659
In the past year, 174 new organizations joined JCI, bringing the total to 659 organizations (483 corporations, 37 local governments, and 139 others).
[Corporations] The new members include companies from the materials industry, such as Tokyo Steel Manufacturing, Nippon Sheet Glass, and AGC, as well as companies from the transportation sector, such as ANA Holdings, Japan Airlines, and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha. In addition, the number of JCI member companies working on RE100 and Science Based Targets (SBT) has increased. Of the 57 Japanese companies participating in RE100, 33 are JCI members, and of the 143 Japanese companies that have set a science-based target with official validation of SBT or have committed to setting a science-based target within two years, 94 are JCI members. Also, six foreign-owned enterprise that are JCI members are participating in both RE100 and SBT.
[Local governments] Higashi-Hiroshima City, Ikoma City, Fukuoka City and Kobe City joined JCI. The total population of the local governments participating in JCI is 46.23 million, or 36% of the total population of Japan.
[Others] New members include Consumers.Japan, as well as local consumer organizations such as Saitamaken Shouhishadantai Renrakukai and consumers-kyoto. Youth groups such as Youth For One earth and Climate Youth Japan also joined.
2. Development of activities to raise Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (NDC) and renewable energy target
1) Calling on the Japanese government to raise its 2030 renewable energy target
On January 18, 2021, 92 JCI member companies that are committed to RE100, SBT, CDP, or TCFD published a message calling on the government to “raise its renewable energy share to 40-50% in its 2030 electricity mix,” which was published as a full-page advertisement in the morning edition of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei).
This message was widely reported in Japan and abroad. Overseas, it was reported by more than 40 media outlets in 17 countries. In addition to Asian countries and regions such as South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Singapore, it was also reported in US, UK, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Spain.
2) Calling for an ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target (NDC) for Japan
On April 19, 2021, with the support of 291 members, JCI released a message “Calling for an Ambitious 2030 Target for Japan to Realize the Paris Agreement Goal,” and sent a letter by JCI Representative Takejiro Sueyoshi to Prime Minister Suga, Foreign Minister Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Kajiyama, and Minister of the Environment Koizumi, calling on the government to “go beyond 45% and challenge a 50% reduction”. On April 21, a press conference was held with the participation of corporate and local government members, calling for an increase of the target in the NDC.
This message was also published in the morning editions of the Asahi Shimbun, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and the Japan Times on April 22.
These efforts were widely reported by many major Japanese and international media outlets. The decision to set a target of 46% for 2030, far higher than the previous target of 26%, was of course influenced by international discussions, but it is also clear that there was a growing domestic demand for stronger measures against climate change, as represented by the JCI message endorsed by 291 organizations.
3) Holding dialogues with the government
Prior to the release of these two messages, JCI held the following meetings with Mr. Koizumi, Minister of the Environment, and Mr. Kono, Minister of State for Regulatory Reform, both of whom aim to strengthen climate change measures and expand renewable energy.
On December 11, 2020, the executive officers of six JCI member companies (Sony, NEC, Hitachi, Kirin Holdings, Ajinomoto, and Nomura Research Institute) met with Environment Minister Koizumi to exchange views on the promotion of climate change countermeasures in response to the government’s declaration of carbon neutrality by 2050.
On November 18, 2020, four CEOs (including the incoming CEO) of JCI member companies (Nissay Asset Management, Kao, Ricoh, and Sony) had a meeting with Taro Kono, Minister of State for Regulatory Reform, to exchange opinions on regulatory reforms aimed at expanding renewable energy. In addition, Takejiro Sueyoshi, JCI Representative, handed Minister Kono a proposal for regulatory reform on renewable energy expansion. On October 21 of the same year, JCI Representative Sueyoshi and the three JCI secretariat organizations also visited Minister Kono to exchange views on ways to expand renewable energy.
3. Accelerating efforts of non-state actors in Japan
1) Race To Zero
JCI launched JCI Race To Zero Circle on December 17, 2020, as an official partner of a global campaign Race To Zero, established by UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in June 2020. The circle mobilizes JCI members to participate in Race To Zero. In order to accelerate the members climate efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, JCI will call for participation in the campaign and contribute to the decarbonization of the world from Japan.
2) Hosting events
The following events were held to share the global movement toward overcoming the climate crisis, the pioneering experiences of Japanese companies and local governments, and to enhance the efforts of non-state actors.
– JCI Webinar “Thinking about Coal” (July 28, 2020)
– Japan Climate Action Summit 2020 (October 13, 2020)
– JCI Webinar “NDC: What is the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to achieve net-zero in 2050 like?” (March 31, 2021)
– JCI Webinar “How to step forward to achieve zero emissions in 2050: Join Race To Zero” (July 1, 2021)
1. Japan Climate Action Summit 2021 to be held on October 13!
With the aim of further increasing momentum toward decarbonization in Japan, Japan Climate Action Summit 2021 will be held online on Wednesday, October 13 this year. Details will be announced on a later date.
2. Participation in COP26
JCI will participate in COP26, which will be held in Glasgow, UK from November 1 to 12 this year. This will be the first COP to be held after Japan revised its NDC. Starting with the Working Group I report in August, the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC will be released in due course, and again, the reality of the deepening climate crisis is expected to be shown. We will take this opportunity to deliver a positive message from Japan’s non-state actors to the world and communicate domestically that the enhancement of countermeasures is in progress as a global trend, in order to accelerate Japan’s efforts.