On 5th of June, 2020, the UN High Level Climate Champions for Action, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Munoz launched the Race-to-Zero as a global campaign to rally; Leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. As of June 2020, the campaign gathers 449 cities, 21 regions, 995 businesses, 38 of the biggest investors, and 505 universities.
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is one of the core partners of the campaign since its inception by mobilizing more than 200 cities and regions within its network committing to climate neutrality.
The webinar “Race to Zero Dialogues” on 29th of July, 2020 aimed to highlight climate neutrality leadership and action experiences from political and technical representatives of ICLEI members in Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia.
From Japan, H.E. Shinjiro Koizumi, Minister of Environment, Japan stated “I strongly believe that more than half of Japan’s population has now committed to decarbonization, we will be seeing an irreversible ‘Race to Zero’. I trust that local governments’ ambitious goals will be a driving force to accelerate this achievement.” via video message.
After the presentation by Nigel Topping, UNFCCC High Level Climate Action Champion for UK COP26 Presidency, Shuichi Abe who is Governor of Nagano Prefecture, Japan gave a speech “Last December, Nagano became the first prefecture in Japan to declare a climate emergency, in response to last October’s super Typhoon which gave huge damage to Nagano Prefecture. At that time, we also announced our resolution to go zero carbon by 2050”.
Additionally Hayato Shimizu, who is Mayor of Saitama City expressed “The super typhoon caused tremendous damage, the risk of torrential rains and extreme heat are expected to increase with global warming in the future that we are facing a crisis.
In order to pass on a sustainable society to the future, Saitama City announced that we will strive to be the ‘zero carbon city by 2050’ to realize net zero carbon emissions.”.
At the technical Session, Togo Uchida from ICLEI Japan commented “148 local governments have committed Zero Carbon. The Ministry of Environment Japan’s approach to local governments had huge effects.”.
Webinar outcomes will be presented as inputs to Daring Cities 2020 – the Global Virtual Forum on Urban Leaders Taking on Climate Emergency on 7th to 28th of October as well as Race-To-Zero November Dialogues.
Link to Japanese (pdf)