Online Event “NET ZERO Leaders Summit (Japan Business Conference 2021)” Being Held to Promote Japan's Investment Environment and Efforts toward Net Zero
- Summary of the main program's discussions conducted on July 28 and 29 -
July 29, 2021
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) are holding an online event called "NET ZERO Leaders Summit (Japan Business Conference 2021)" starting on July 28 (Wed.), to promote Japan's efforts toward achieving net zero and the attractiveness of its investment environment.
On July 28 and 29, the main program of the event included three panel discussions that brought together 15 global leaders to talk about the latest trends regarding net zero, and a keynote speech by Mr. Tokura Masakazu, Chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), and video messages from Prime Minister Suga and Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Here is a summary of the discussions in the main program and information on the ongoing events.
1. Background and outline
The Green Growth Strategy, which METI led the formulation of, will direct all available policies, including international cooperation, in order to attract environment-related investment from all around the world. In June, 2021, the Japanese government set a new goal of "achieving an 80 trillion yen balance of direct investment in Japan," and efforts toward this goal have also become important.
Against this background, METI and JETRO are holding an online event titled "NET ZERO Leaders Summit (Japan Business Conference 2021)" starting on July 28 in order to gather the world's wisdom toward achieving net zero, and promote Japan's attractive investment environment.
The main program, which was conducted on July 28 and 29, included panel discussions by world-leading figures from diverse regions and business fields. They presented various suggestions, including leading examples toward achieving carbon neutrality, future prospects, efforts based on regional and industrial differences, and the importance of international collaboration.
2. Outline of the NET ZERO Leaders Summit (Japan Business Conference 2021)
Organizers: METI, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Date: Being held online starting on July 28, 2021 (Wed.)
Number of registered participants (as of July 28): Approximately 2,800
3. Summary of the main program's discussions Note: On-demand streaming is going to be provided. Details will be announced at a later date.
(1) Video message from Prime Minister Suga
Prime Minister Suga expressed his expectations for lively discussions by the leaders so that like the Olympic Games, the event could provide dreams and hopes to people all around the world. He mentioned that achieving a decarbonized society is a driving force for sustainable economic growth, and that he would very much welcome the investment and cooperation in the large green market that will emerge in Japan. He concluded his message by hoping that the event would provide a great opportunity for Japan and the world to advance together.
(2) Keynote speech by Mr. Tokura Masakazu, Chairman of the Keidanren: The Japanese Business Community's Efforts toward Achieving Carbon Neutrality
Keidanren Chairman Tokura proposed that green transformation (the fundamental transformation of economy and society) should be promoted in order to achieve carbon neutrality. He also mentioned that the Japanese business community would steadily promote proactive measures such as the "carbon neutrality action plans," "challenge zero," and "information disclosure" together with the government.
(3) Panel Discussion 1: Green Innovation
- [Moderator] TSUSAKA Miki, Managing Director & Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group (Japan)
- Benoît POTIER, Chairman & CEO, Air Liquide (France)
- Henrik ANDERSEN, President & CEO, Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark)
- Virginia M. ROMETTY, Former Chairman, President & CEO, IBM (USA)
- Kathy MATSUI, General Partner, MPower Partners (Japan)
OutlineInnovation in businesses is essential to achieving net zero. Panelists discussed, among other topics, initiatives as a global company and the path toward future technological innovation.
Main topics discussed
- There are three principles of technology innovation, including trust.
- Economic performance is essential for long-term performance.
- The public and private sectors each play different roles, and it is also important to involve the people.
- Achieving carbon neutrality requires partnerships between companies.
- It is necessary to accelerate goal achievement through information disclosure and deregulation.
- Young people's passion for the global environment. What happens if employers are not conscious of it?
(4) Panel Discussion 2: Sustainable Finance
- [Moderator] SASADA Tamao, Country Executive for Japan, Bank of America (Japan)
- Fiona REYNOLDS, CEO, PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) (UK)
- José Ricardo Fagonde FORNI, Chief Financial and Investor Relations Officer (CFO), Banco do Brasil S.A. (Brazil)
- Alberto DE PAOLI, Chief Financial Officer, Enel S.p.A. (Italy)
- MIKE Kanetsugu, Member of the Board of Directors, Chairman (Corporate Executive), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (Japan)
Medium- to long-term support is critical to companies' low-carbon transition. Participants discussed the progress of sustainable finance from various perspectives.
Main topics discussed
- Providing support for customers in all segments, not only in agriculture, but in all sectors.
- Inventing sustainable bonds beyond businesses for supporting corporate transformation as a whole.
- Promoting long-term business change through investor collaboration (Net-Zero Asset Owners’ Alliance).
- Transition paths vary depending on the region and economic situation, including Japan-specific issues.
- The importance of engaging with stakeholders as a financial institution.
- The Japanese government working on a sector-specific roadmap.
(5) Panel Discussion 3: Transition in Emerging Countries
- [Moderator] NOBUTANI Kazushige, President, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
- ZHOU Liyang, Chairman of the Board, Juhua Group Corporation (and Zhejiang Juhua Co., Ltd.) (China)
- Tengku Muhammad Taufik, President & Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), PETROLIAM Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) (Malaysia)
- Sumant SINHA, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, ReNew Power Private Limited (India)
- AKITA Satoshi, Founder & CEO, WASSHA Inc. (Japan and Tanzania)
OutlineIn areas where industrialization is accelerating, efforts in accordance with local characteristics are needed in order to achieve net zero. Panelists discussed the efforts in each region, with a view to pursuing both economic growth and environmental protection.
Main topics discussed
- There are two challenges to energy transition, including the challenge of passing the peak while continuing development.
- The governments (even in developing countries) have major aspirations for clean energy and transition. Renewable energy is also becoming more competitive, and it is possible to use energy storage systems that have advanced in technological innovation.
- Natural gas is important as a bridging fuel for energy transition.
- Collaboration with Japan. Each collaboration will lead to carbon neutrality in the future.
- Being environmentally friendly is a burden in rural areas. The key is lowering the total cost.
- Each region has its own challenges, and there is no single path toward carbon neutrality.
(6) Video message from Minister Kajiyama
Minister Kajiyama expressed his intention to direct all available policies toward achieving carbon neutrality. He also expressed his expectations that this event would provide the world with an opportunity to learn about Japanese companies, and trigger changes and efforts toward decarbonization and other initiatives.
4. Information on ongoing events
(1) Main program by global leaders
Three panel discussions where 15 world-leading figures discuss the trends regarding net zero.
A keynote speech by Mr. Tokura Masakazu, Chairman of the Japan Business Federation, and video messages from Prime Minister Suga and Mr. Kajiyama Hiroshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
(2) Companies' and local governments' exhibition booths "Japan Technology Showcase" (July 28 [Wed.] to September 10 [Fri.])
Fifty-four Japanese companies and local governments will exhibit their outstanding technologies and services in PR booths at a virtual venue to promote Japan's attractiveness
(3) Communication through avatars, etc. (July 28 [Wed.] to September 10 [Fri.])
Participants will be able to use avatars to communicate with each other and exhibitors in real time
For inquiries regarding this event
NET ZERO Leaders Summit (Japan Business Conference 2021) Secretariat
For press inquiries
NET ZERO Leaders Summit (Japan Business Conference 2021) Public Relations Office
Division in Charge
Investment Facilitation Division, Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau