Conference on future framework and domestic policies in industrialized countries on climate change

An International Conference Long-term Prospect of International Climate Change Policy was held at the Goethe-Institut Tokyo on February 20th and 21st. The conference was co-hosted by FoE Japan and Kiko Network. Many experts and NGO members on climate change, including 12 guests from abroad, attended the symposium. They reported the latest information and held discussions.

Day One

Dr. Ott reported on the history of climate change policies and the latest situation. Prof. Mimura gave clear explanations about the effects of climate change from a scientific viewpoint, and pointed out that the number of climate-related disasters is increasing as temperatures rise. Ms. Mace insisted that adaptation to climate change is important for small island states from these countries' viewpoint.
The future framework following the Kyoto Protocol was also discussed. Firstly, Mr. Berk reported on various possible frameworks to carry out deep cuts of greenhouse gas emissions to stabilize the concentration. He also stated the scenario with advantages and disadvantages for each of them.
Then, Mr. Agus explained the view of the future process from the perspective of developing countries. Mr. Makiya from Ministry of the Environment, and Mr. Takeda from Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), reported on discussions at their councils. Finally, Ms. Morgan reported CAN's discussion paper on behalf of CAN (Climate Action Network) which is a global NGO network. She stated that a rise in temperature should be kept below 2 ℃ from the temperature in the pre-industrial level,and suggested a global framework based on the Kyoto Protocol to carry out deep cuts of CO2 emissions. In the question and answer session, questions and counter-arguments were made concerning Mr. Takeda's opinion that the Kyoto Protocol is not global and that sectoral voluntary targets should be set.

Day Two

The day two began with a keynote speech by Mr. Baer. He explained the meaning of setting a target "below 2 degrees." Then, NGOs in the world's leading industrialized regions (US, Canada, EU, UK, Germany, and Japan) reported on their current domestic measures and challenges. One of the encouraging news was that some states and citizen groups in the US had started to take measures for climate change even though their federal government opposed the Kyoto Protocol. Also, it was reported that a long-term environmental and energy policy until 2050 had been set in the UK, which was stressed to be achieved by strong leadership. The congestion charge in London and the system for buying renewable energy at a fixed price (feed-in-tariff) in Germany were explained as good examples. Meanwhile, Mr. Uezono pointed out the problems in the Guideline of Measures to Prevent Global Warming made by the Japanese government, and he stated that it was necessary to set up mid and long-term targets and disclose information such as the basis of the policy. It was very beneficial to share the latest situation and actions in leading developed countries.
At the last discussion, tardy action of the Japanese government became an issue, and lack of political leadership was pointed out. It was also stressed that domestic and international NGOs should cooperate more in order for Japan to achieve deep cuts of CO2 emissions.

The two main points which became clear in the two-day symposium were that "the Kyoto Protocol should be the base of future measures for climate change and we should take stock of all the negotiations of the last decade to build a future framework". It became apparent that the approach of the METI which was trying to disregard the Kyoto Protocol and resist the process up until now would not be accepted all over the world. This symposium was held at exactly the right time to bring up problems in reviewing the Guideline of Measures to Prevent Global Warming and building the next target after the Kyoto Protocol.

Program: The Long-term Prospects of International Climate Policy


●Opening:Mie Asaoka (Kiko Network, Japan)
●PART I:Taking Stock to Move Forward (1~3)
●PART II:Assessing Frameworks for the Future (4~6)

    1. Keynote Speech: The Status of the UN Process on Climate Change - Looking Back To Move Forward Hermann Ott (Wuppertal Institute, Germany)
    2. Future Climate Change Impacts in Japan and East Asia (in Japanese) Nobuo Mimura (Ibaraki University/IPCC WGII, Japan)
    3. The Needs of Adaptation and Climate Justice M.J. Mace (FIELD, UK)
    4. How Can the Parties Fairly and Effectively Establish Future Obligations Under Long-Term Climate Objectives?
      Marcel Berk (RIVM, NL)
    5. Graduation and Deepening: An Ambitious Climate Policy Scenario
      Dang Hong Hanh, (Hamburg Institute of International Economics, Germany)
    6. The Process Seen from Developing Country Perspectives
      Agus P. Sari (Pelangi, Indonesia)

●PART III:Panel Presentations - Building the Future
- The Status of the Central Environment Council Deliberation (in Japanese)
? Kuniaki MAKIYA (Director, Office of International Strategy on Climate Change, Ministry of the Environment, JAPAN)
- The Status of the Industrial Structure Council Deliberation
? Ken TAKEDA (Deputy Director, Global Environmental Affairs Office, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, JAPAN)
- The Environmentally Sound and Equitable Framework
? Jennifer Morgan (WWF International)

●Ending:Tokiharu Okazaki (FoE Japan),/p>


●Keynote Speech:Preventing Dangerous Climate Change - The Adequacy of Commitments

Paul Baer (Energy and Resources Group, Berkeley, University of California)

●The Status and Challenges of National Policies in Key Countries

- The United States of America

? Jeff Fiedler (Natural Resources Defense Council)

- Canada

? Alex Boston (David Suzuki Foundation)

- The European Union

? Matthias Duwe (Climate Action Network Europe)

- The United Kingdom

? Catherine Pearce (FoE International)

- Germany

? Manfred Treber (Germanwatch)

- Japan (in Japanese)

? Masatake Uezono (Citizens' Alliance to Save the Atmosphere)

●Floor Discussion:Next Steps - Global Strategy for Civil Society

Conference documents are available at the FoE Japan's website