In October 2020, Prime Minister Suga declared the goal of realizing a carbon-neutral, decarbonized society by 2050. In order to achieve this goal, Japan will lead decarbonization globally by establishing innovative technologies and mobilizing all possible measures, which allow the “Beyond Zero” initiative which is an approach which not only allows carbon neutral efforts to become possible worldwide but also retroactively reduces CO2 emissions in accordance with the stock base approach, and public implementation thereof.
The world is facing an urgent need to address climate change. In order to achieve global carbon neutrality, it is essential that not only developed economies including Japan but also emerging economies tackle the challenge together. On the other hand, the economic and geographical circumstances of each country are different, and in order to promote effective emissions reduction, it is essential to accelerate their "transitions" by utilizing a wide range of technologies and energy sources, rather than a uniform approach, based on these diverse realities. In addition to transitions along these various paths, it is a common challenge for all countries to create breakthrough innovations that are not necessarily simply extensions of existing technologies, and to link them to new growth opportunities through the realization of a “virtuous cycle of the economy and the environment”. With this in mind, Japan formulated the "Environment Innovation Strategy" in January 2020, which aims to lead the world and also has actively been engaging in international collaboration. To create a “virtuous cycle of the economy and the environment”, related government ministries and agencies collaborated to formulate the "Green Growth Strategy" in June this year. In addition, toward carbon neutrality by 2050, the “Green Innovation Fund”, a two trillion yen fund, has been established to encourage companies to take on ambitious challenges in R&D and the deployment of successful results.
As part of these efforts, METI will hold the "Tokyo Beyond Zero Week 2021," a series of international conferences on energy and environment aimed at achieving carbon neutrality and the “Beyond Zero” initiative. These conferences will bring together a wide variety of stakeholders including government officials, representatives of international organizations and research institutes from around the world, and hold wide-ranging discussions on individual challenges toward the realization of the “Beyond Zero” approach, as well as directions and methods for overcoming these challenges within society, and disseminate to the world realistic and concrete methods for realizing a “virtuous cycle of the economy and the environment”. With cross-sectoral discussions on green growth in Asia, Japan will share its technological expertise with other countries in priority fields such as hydrogen, ammonia, and carbon recycling, in which Japan is leading the world. We will contribute to achieving carbon neutrality throughout the world as a platform for leading international discussions and cooperation to accelerate the transitions toward carbon neutrality.
First Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting
In order to achieve economic growth and carbon neutrality at the same time in emerging economies such as those in Asia, it is necessary to promote diverse and realistic energy transitions that take into account the circumstances of each country and utilize all energy sources and technologies. The meeting will be hosted by Japan. This is the first meeting to be hosted by Japan.
Third International Conference on Carbon Recycling
At this Conference, we will disseminate the progress of Japan’s efforts on Carbon Recycling, which is a key technology for realizing carbon neutrality around the world, and gather the wisdom of industry, academia, and government from all over the world to be able to engage in lively discussions and share the latest knowledge and implement it within society. Through this, we aim to further strengthen international cooperation, and accelerate public implementation and market creation.
Fourth Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting
The Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting was held for the first time in Japan in 2018 as an opportunity for member countries to encourage countries from all over the world to promote global-level utilization of hydrogen and to further consolidate collaboration among member countries in a harmonious manner. This year, the conference will provide an opportunity for participants to share efforts for producing and utilizing hydrogen in member countries, aiming to continue to maintain and expand the global momentum for building a hydrogen-based society. Participants will strive to further strengthen international collaboration.
Tenth LNG Producer-Consumer Conference
This year is the 10th anniversary of the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference, which has been held as a platform for cooperation between producing and consuming countries to share the long-term supply and demand outlook for LNG and to make the market more transparent. This year, we plan to deepen the discussion on the role of and hopes for LNG, which has supported stable energy supply and sustainable growth in Japan and the world, into the next decade, amid the global trend toward decarbonization.
TCFD summit 2021
In order to promote climate change measures, finance will become even more important. Furthermore, the movement to make the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD - established with support from the G20), mandatory as a framework for information disclosure related to climate change, is expanding globally.
Hosted by METI, the TCFD Summit 2021 will be held online on October 5. At this summit, we will further promote the more decision-useful TCFD disclosures for investors, by holding discussions with guest speakers who have advanced initiatives in the world's industrial and financial circles. In addition, it is important to increasingly promote green economic activities, and at the same time, to form a flow of funding for the transition. Through discussion on how to disclose information on these transitions, METI aims to create international momentum so that companies will disclose their efforts by taking climate change as an opportunity, and the finance world will accelerate efforts toward the realization of carbon neutrality by such companies.
First International Conference on Fuel Ammonia
Ammonia is a zero-emission fuel that does not emit CO2 when burned, and is one of the most effective means of combating global warming and achieving carbon neutrality.
This new conference will raise international awareness of ammonia as a direct fuel (i.e., the concept of "fuel ammonia") and promote the introduction and expansion of fuel ammonia. At the same time, it will also bring together oil- and gas-producing, renewable-rich countries on the need to establish a stable, low-cost, and flexible fuel ammonia supply chain and market.
Eighth Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF)
Hosted by the Government of Japan, the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) is an annual gathering of leading international stakeholders tackling climate change since 2014. ICEF’s mission is to nurture discussion and collaboration among participants, and to disseminate innovations in energy and environmental technology to participants and beyond.
ICEF features a plenary session for broad-ranging discussions as well as concurrent sessions where smaller groups of experts discuss specific technical areas in more detail.
This year ICEF is going to further deepen its discussion on actions by various types of stakeholders, and in major technical fields, to demonstrate pathways to carbon neutrality.
Third Research and Development 20 for Clean Energy Technologies (RD20) (Leader’s Session)
Research and Development 20 for Clean Energy Technologies (RD20) is an annual gathering of the heads of leading R&D institutes from G20 nations. Hosted by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), representatives discuss ways to strengthen alliances between research institutes and promote joint R&D projects with the goal of generating innovations in clean energy technologies toward carbon neutrality.
This year’s RD20 will include a Leaders Session on Oct 8th, featuring high-level discussion by leaders from national research institutes about global collaboration to realize a low-carbon society.
Prior to this, Technical Sessions will be held with the themes ‘decarbonization by sectors,’ ‘social acceptance of hydrogen,’ and ‘energy management systems’ from Sept. 29th to Oct. 1st.