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Eighth Annual Meeting of the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) 2021 Held

October 8, 2021

On October 6 and 7, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) held the eighth annual meeting of the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) 2021 online. With "Pathways to Carbon Neutrality by 2050; Accelerating the Pace of Global Decarbonization" as the main theme, the forum brought together industry, government, and academia experts from all around the world to discuss concrete and realistic pathways to achieve carbon neutrality by the target year. More than 2,000 people from 87 countries and regions registered to attend on the day.

Overview of the conference

An international platform established in 2014 on Japan's initiative, ICEF invites experts and leaders in different fields from all over the world to the event in order to promote discussion and cooperation between academia, industry, and government officials, with the aim of solving climate change issues through energy-related and environmental innovation.

The eighth ICEF was held online over two days (October 6 and 7) as part of Tokyo "Beyond-Zero" Week 2021, which is an intensive series of international conferences related to energy and the environment with a view toward achieving carbon neutrality—and even going "beyond zero" (i.e., reducing the accumulated amount of CO2).

Minister Hagiuda delivered a written message to ICEF in which he stated that it will be important that countries pursue various pathways in line with their respective circumstances in order to become carbon neutral, and that creating innovation through research and development will be the key to widening their options. He also mentioned that innovation will need to be spread all around the world.

In the eighth ICEF, world leaders on climate change took the stage in 11 sessions. Among these leaders were Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), and Mr. Michael R. Bloomberg, Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions. In each session, people from the younger generations (under the age of 35) participated in the discussions. This year, the main theme was "Pathways to Carbon Neutrality by 2050; Accelerating the Pace of Global Decarbonization," and the focus was on concrete and realistic discussions toward carbon neutrality by 2050. In addition, the participants discussed what actions and innovations were essential on the short-term (by 2030) and long-term (by 2050) time scales, from the respective perspectives of all the stakeholders, governments, companies, and individuals.

Based on the series of discussions, an ICEF Statement was released along with a draft Roadmap recommending approaches and methods for the major innovative technologies that will contribute to clean energy transitions. The Roadmap will be edited to reflect public comments, then officially announced at COP26 (the 26th Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow, UK in November 2021.


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Division in Charge

International Affairs Office, Policy Planning and Coordination Division, Industrial Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau