2023.12.1 Fri.

14:45 - 16:00
Local Governments lead Resilient Zero Carbon and Sustainable Society Transition
Seminar abstract


Global and Japanese local governments lead resilient zero carbon and sustainable society transitions, such as 1) Mayors of Tokyo 23 wards jointly declared their initiatives towards zero carbon and recently made zero carbon agreement with Mega Banks in Japan, 2) MOEJ leads "decarbonization leading areas" to select at least 100 areas, including Sado city and Nasu-shobara city, that aims to achieve zero carbon by 2030, 3) Tottori prefecture leads zero carbon initiatives with youth stakeholders.


MC: Local Governments lead Resilient Zero Carbon and Sustainable Society Transition


Opening/invited remarks -10 min-

  • Yasuo Takahashi (IGES)
  • Gino Van Begin (ICLEI)
  • MIZUTANI Yoshihiro (MOEJ)

Zero Carbon Transitions by Larger Cities -20 min-

  • Katsunori Aoki (City of Katsushika, Tokyo)
  • Atsushi Shimizu (SMBC)
  • SAKITA Yuko (GENKI Net for Creating a Sustainable Society)

Zero Carbon Transition by Middle-Small Size Cities -15 min-

  • Ryugo Watanabe (Sado City) (video message)
  • Michitarou Watanabe (Nasu-Shiobara City) (video message)
  • Junichi Fujino (IGES)

Transitions from perspectives of Youth -15 min-

  • HIRAI Shinji (Tottori Prefecture) (video message)
  • Hiroyuki Hirata (JCCCA)
  • YOKOYAMA Ryota (Tottori University of Environmental Studies)
  • MITANI Natsumi (Tottori University of Environmental Studies)
  • KOJIMA Tsubasa (Student, National Institute of Technology, Yonago College)

Discussions -15 min-



  • Yasuo Takahashi / Executive Director, IGES
  • Gino Van Begin / Secretary General, ICLEI
  • MIZUTANI Yoshihiro / Director for International Cooperation for Transition to Decarbonization and Sustainable Infrastructure, MOEJ
  • Katsunori Aoki / Mayor, City of Katsushika, Tokyo
  • Atsushi Shimizu / Head, Sustainability Division, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Yuko Sakita / President, GENKI Net for Creating a Sustainable Society
  • Junichi Fujino / Programme Director, IGES
  • Hiroyuki Hirata / Executive Director, JCCCA
  • Kazuyoshi Koba / Deputy Director, JCCCA
  • Ryota Yokoyama / Student, Tottori University of Environmental Studies
  • Natsumi Mitani / Student, Tottori University of Environmental Studies
  • Tsubasa Kojima / Student, National Institute of Technology, Yonago College
Related Links
Session Summary
This side event was organized by IGES and ICLEI focusing on global and Japanese local governments lead resilient zero carbon and sustainable society transitions, In the first session, Mr. Takahashi (IGES) and Mr. Mizutani (MOEJ) highlighted the significant role of municipalities at COP28 and introduced specific initiatives such as "decarbonization leading areas" and "regional circulating and ecological sphere (CES)" in Japan. There were expressed expectations towards municipalities, companies, experts, and youth to present their efforts in these areas during this event. Mr. Begin (ICLEI) pointed out that the role of municipalities is increasingly crucial, highlighted by the inaugural official "Local Climate Action Summit" taking place for the first time at COP. In the following session, Mayor Aoki of Katsushika Ward presented the ongoing efforts towards zero carbon in Katsushika, the first municipality in Tokyo to declare itself a Zero Carbon City. He also highlighted the pioneering initiatives across all 23 special wards of Tokyo, consolidated through the conference of ward mayors, particularly focusing on the agreement between the special wards and major banks. In the session focusing on "decarbonization leading areas", Mayor Watanabe of Nasu-shiobara City presented the '2050 Sustainable Vision Nasu-shiobara - Environmental Strategy Implementation Declaration,' publicly announced on September 21st. Mayor Watanabe of Sado City shared the community's efforts towards becoming a regionally circulating island through activities such as leading decarbonization areas, SDGs Future City initiatives, Nature-Positive Declaration, the enactment of "regional circulating and ecological sphere" ordinance, and hosting the International Conference on Ecosystem-based Agriculture (ICEBA2023) fostering biodiversity in agriculture. Furthermore, Dr. Fujino (IGES) presented the overall landscape of "decarbonization leading areas" as the acting chairperson as well as the latest examples, particularly emphasizing the expansion of these Japanese initiatives across Asia. Finally, three youth representatives from Tottori Prefecturea took place lively presentation regarding efforts toward achieving Tottori Zero Carbon. This dissemination highlighted the latest developments in Japan's regional transition towards zero carbon, reaching out globally.
Message and Results
Particularly through the in-person participation of the Mayor of Katsushika Ward and the video messages delivered by the Mayors of Sado City, Nasu-shiobara City, and the Governor of Tottori Prefecture, the initiative facilitated global outreach. This comprehensive dissemination effort contributed to the global transmission in line with COP28's main message 'We united, We acted, We deliver'.
Amidst the conditions of intensifying global competition and collaboration to identify those who can offer solutions towards achieving the 1.5-degree Celsius target, showcasing solutions from Japan has made a significant impact. This initiative has garnered substantial attention from both domestic and international stakeholders, receiving coverage in Asahi Shimbun and local newspapers.

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