October 15, 2020
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hosted “Tokyo ‘Beyond-Zero’ Week” which is composed by following six conferences from October 7 to 14, 2020. Toward establishment of innovative technologies, which allow the “Beyond Zero” initiative or 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 social implementation thereof, these conferences were held to present individual challenges which member countries should take on and to provide approaches and methods to overcome such challenges in society. A total of approximately 12,500 people registered online as participating viewers for these conferences.
Tokyo “Beyond-Zero” Week: from October 7 to 14, 2020
- Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) 2020: October 7 and 8
- Research and Development 20 for Clean Energy Technologies (RD20): October 9
- Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Summit 2020: October 9
- Ninth LNG Producer-Consumer Conference: October 12
- Second International Conference on Carbon Recycling 2020: October 13
- Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting: October 14
Japan has been aiming at improving the competitiveness of new industries toward a positive cycle of environmental protection and economic growth through the achievement of “Environmental Innovation for Beyond-Zero,” an approach to: establishing innovative technologies, which allow the “Beyond Zero” initiative or 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 social implementation thereof.
To this end, METI hosted a series of related international conferences, collectively called “Tokyo ‘Beyond-Zero’ Week” as the first effort in Japan. These conferences were held to present individual challenges which member countries should take on and to provide approaches and methods to overcome such challenges in society.
The conferences aimed to serve as opportunities not only to present both an overview of and specific approaches to the positive cycle of environmental protection and economic growth as a commonly shared global value and but also to continue to develop various and positive interactions with other countries. In conveying Japan’s innovations to the rest of the world while also introducing other countries’ innovations to Japan, the conferences brought together Mr. Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan, who attended the TCFD Summit, Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, government ministerial officials from countries all over the world, representatives of the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other international organizations and research institutes from around the world, people executing leadership in innovation and representatives of industrial players, and these participants delivered speeches and held discussions.
For details of these conferences, visit the following websites and see the archive version of the video clips.
(1) ICEF2020Upholding not only the ICEF concept “Achievement for Net Zero Emissions of CO2” but also the FY2020 subject “Action toward ‘Beyond Zero’ Missions Society in Light of COVID-19; with a Focus on Gender Equality,” participants held discussions on approaches to achieving zero emissions and to further going beyond this goal. That is, reducing CO2 that has been already emitted even amid expansion of COVID-19, taking into consideration women’s empowerment as a key to encouraging a zero-emission society. Over 1,300 people from approximately 80 countries and regions registered online as participating viewers for this conference. Moreover, aiming to raise public awareness of international leading case examples of innovations in this field, the conference selected the ICEF top 10 innovations from 20 finalists, which were determined by votes cast by participants in the conference.
Representatives of research institutes in the field of clean energy from 20 countries and regions held discussions on enhancement of international collaboration. Over 1,600 people in total registered online as participating viewers for this conference, , which is hosted by AIST and sponsored by METI. In At the Technical Sessions, participants shared information on outcomes of and challenges in efforts for promoting specific international collaboration in the fields of renewable energy, energy management making use of batteries, hydrogen, and the carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) technologies. Meanwhile, at the Leaders’ Session, participants shared information on the latest trends in the respective organizations and held discussions on the importance of advancing environment development for inaugurating international joint research in the future.
(3) TCFD Summit 2020
Aiming to encourage both industrial players and financial institutes to improve TCFD disclosure in terms of quality and quantity, participants held discussions on establishment of TCFD disclosures as a business practice and further utilization of TCFD disclosure. About 3,200 people registered online as participating viewers for this conference.
At the beginning of the conference, Prime Minister Suga delivered a speech and stated that global companies and investors are shifting to new business placing sustainability at the core. He also stated that Japan will create innovations that achieve the “Beyond-Zero” initiative in which Japan should reduce the accumulated emissions of CO2 and also will contribute to global decarbonization by showing a blueprint for the positive cycle of environmental protection and economic growth. Following this, he declared that the government of Japan will support TCFD as an effort for supporting, through finance, companies engaging in solutions to the climate change issue.
At the conference, participants shared the recognition of the importance of disclosure about a transition to a society with decarbonization and low-carbonization as well as innovations that allow dramatic reduction of CO2 as an opportunity, and the importance of diversity to be taken into consideration in introducing mandatory disclosures. Moreover, METI published the first version of the List of Companies Taking on the Zero-Emission Challenge, showing 320 companies boldly taking on innovations toward realization of a decarbonized society.
(4) Ninth LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2020
This conference presented on its website messages delivered by ministerial officials of 27 countries and heads of over 60 LNG-related companies and international organizations. Moreover, participants enriched discussions on effects expected for LNG and actions that they should take toward such effects amid the ongoing dramatic changes in environments surrounding LNG. About 1,900 people from 52 countries and regions from the world registered as participating viewers for the conference.
The conference announced that it will embark on dramatic review of the Strategy for LNG Market Development formulated in 2016 and then declared that it will focus on efforts for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from LNG value chains and for producing hydrogen and ammonium from LNG through carbon recycling.
(5) Second International Conference on Carbon Recycling 2020
Leaders of the industrial, academic and government sectors in the field of carbon recycling held discussions on carbon recycling in which CO2 is utilized as a resource toward realization of the positive cycle of environmental protection and economic growth through creation of discontinuous innovations, and they conveyed the significance of carbon recycling, the progress in related efforts and future directions. About 1,700 people from 22 countries, regions and organizations registered online as participating viewers for the conference. Moreover, they confirmed their commitments to the development and commercialization of technologies toward social implementation while enhancing international collaboration, as seen in the Japan-US conclusion of a new memorandum of cooperation on carbon recycling.
(6) Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting
This meeting presented messages towards a hydrogen-based society, from 13 ministers and other representatives of 23 countries, regions, international organizations, and representatives of companies. Aiming to maintain and expand global momentum to build a hydrogen-based society, participants shared information on efforts for hydrogen production and utilization and also the recognition of the roles of hydrogen and technological development in decarbonization, the need for harmonization of systems, and further enhancement of international cooperation. About 2,800 people registered online as participating viewers for this meeting.
Moreover, the meeting published a “Global Action Agenda Progress Report” as a compilation of progress made since the previous meeting in the major efforts by member countries, international organizations and other entities for hydrogen, and it also announced that it would hold the next meeting in close cooperation with the IEA.
Links to related information
- Ninth LNG Producer-Consumer Conference Held
- Online Special Event of Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting Held
- TCFD Summit 2020 Held
- Second International Conference on Carbon Recycling 2020 Held
Division in Charge
Information on the Tokyo “Beyond-Zero” Week:
International Affairs Division, Commissioner’s Secretariat, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Environmental Policy Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau
Information on ICEF2020:
International Affairs Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau
Information on RD20:
International Affairs Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau
Information on TCFD Summit 2020:
Environmental Economy Office, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau
Information on the Ninth LNG Producer-Consumer Conference 2020:
Petroleum and Natural Gas Division, Natural Resources and Fuel Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Information on the International Conference on Carbon Recycling 2020:
Carbon Recycling Promotion Office, Commissioner’s Secretariat, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
Information on the Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting:
Advanced Energy Systems and Structure Division, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy