Global Environment

Guidelines for Measures to Prevent Global Warming - Part 3

Part 3. Reviewing Lifestyles

1. Stimulating Public Discussion about the Introduction of Daylight Saving Time

The Government should stimulate a multi-faceted public discussion on the introduction of daylight saving time. This discussion will provide an opportunity to adopt a system that effectively uses daylight during the summer season so each individual can be friendlier to the global environment. More specifically, the "Citizens' Conference to Think about the Global Environment and Daylight Saving Time" (tentative name) should be held during the summer of 1998. By encouraging the participation of the public, businesses, the national Government, and local authorities, this discussion should reach a conclusion during fiscal 1998.

2. Securing Social Conditions Leading to Promotion of Safe and Appropriate Use of Bicycles

Bicycle use should be encouraged to ease traffic congestion and reduce fossil fuel consumption. To encourage the use of bicycles, the Government should improve roads for bicycle use, provide parking for bicycles, and allow bicycles to be taken onto trains by providing extra space in train cars and special lines for bicyclists. In addition, cities and towns should establish comprehensive policies for bicycle parking.

3. Improvement of Structures for Education/Awareness Raising and Information Dissemination

  • (1) Improving Education Relating to Environment and Energy

    To promote action by all citizens, including children, the Government should improve environmental education, with emphasis placed on the problem of global warming and the role of forests. Furthermore, education on energy issues should be improved and offered at a variety of settings: schools, local communities, and homes.

    1. Improving Environmental Education and Energy Education at Schools

      At schools, students should be given practical training for environmental protection and the creation of a better environment. To provide this training, environmental education and energy education must be improved by providing educators workshops, improving the leadership ability of educators, and improving teaching materials relating to energy and the environment . In addition, textbooks should be printed on recycled paper.

    2. Promoting Education on the Environment and Energy at Various Sites

      The Government should develop facilities for environmental education where a broad range of generations, from children to adults, can learn about environmental problems, especially global environmental problems. In addition, the Government should also promote learning through experiencing nature, by promoting educational activities at National Youth Houses and National Children's Centers, and by constructing Visitor Centers and Multiple-use Forest Promotion Facilities. At the same time, urban parks should provide opportunities for residents to learn about the environment through educational activities.

      Furthermore, opportunities for education and learning for all ages, especially primary school students, should be secured by further developing the Junior Eco Club, improving energy-related exhibitions, increasing educational activities in the classes, providing space for information exchange in the Global Environment Partnership Plaza, and raising awareness of global environmental problems and energy issues such as energy conservation, new energy development, and nuclear power.

      In addition, the Government should develop human resources through measures such as the Environmental Counselor Register System and the Forest Instructor System.
  • (2) Strengthening Public Relations

    1. Improving Public Relations

      Starting in fiscal 1998, the Government should develop annual plans for public relations activities relating to easing the effects of global warming and expand public relations activities through a broad range of media. For this purpose, priority should be placed on citizen-based public relations activities, such as inviting suggestions for a logo relating to global warming prevention to use for public relations activities.

    2. Establishing a "Global Warming Prevention Month"

      Starting in 1998, December will be designated as "Global Warming Prevention Month" to promote global warming prevention activities. Public relations activities should be conducted continuously during this month and also in June (Environment Month) and February (Energy Saving Month).

    3. Recognizing Efforts of Businesses, Local Authorities, etc.

      To promote activities to prevent global warming, the Government should give awards to businesses, companies, local authorities, etc., that have made outstanding contributions toward global warming prevention.
  • (3) Disseminating Information

    1. Disseminating Information Relating to Housing and Buildings

      The Government should introduce systems to rate the energy efficiency of housing ant to label energy performance in order to enable citizens to properly evaluate the energy saving capability of housing and buildings.

    2. Providing Information for Consumer Products and Automobiles

      Information on CO2 emissions and energy efficiency ratings of air conditioners, refrigerators, other household products, and automobiles should be provided in an easy to understand format so consumers can select products with low CO2 emissions and low energy consumption.

    3. Providing Environmental Information Relating to Manufactured Products, etc.

      The Government should promote the use of the international Energy Star Mark that is affixed to office equipment with lower energy consumption when on standby. Furthermore, the Government should conduct a pilot project during fiscal 1998 for a new method of environmental labeling to provide quantified information about the environmental load caused by products including the amount of GHG emissions. The pilot project may include improving the Ecomark System.

    4. Providing Information about CFC Alternatives (HFC, PFC and SF6)

      Along with raising awareness about the need to limit emissions of HFC, etc., the Government should provide information about the recovery of these substances, labeling indicating HFC, etc. use, and non-fluorocarbons products. By providing this information, the Government can gain the cooperation and broad understanding of the public.
  • (4) Increasing Public Participation

    Public participation should be increased raising environmental awareness in daily life. These measures may include encouraging the use of products that have low CO2 emissions and low energy consumption, environmental household bookkeeping, energy saving household bookkeeping, environment-friendly driving ('eco- driving'), inviting energy saving ideas from citizens, proposing resource saving, and educating the public on costs and environmental impact.

    Furthermore, the Government should implement measures to save energy, e.g., such as setting thermostats at 28 degrees Celsius or higher during summer and 20 degrees or lower during winter, and measures to create a new energy-efficient lifestyle ('smart life') by soliciting ideas from the public and businesses on a variety of issues such as development of new clothing textiles and creating new fashions at the work place.

4. Exemplary Actions by Government

The Government, in its roles as a business entity and consumer, will take exemplary actions to prevent global warming. Specifically, the Government will prioritize these actions: [1] to purchase low fuel consumption vehicles and low pollution vehicles for official use, [2] to introduce new energy systems such as photovoltaic power generation in Government buildings and public facilities, [3] to promote environment-friendly Government building facilities ('Green Government Buildings'), [4] to introduce common-use bicycles in Kasumigaseki (the main Government area in Tokyo), [5] to declare the first Monday of every month to be a day to refrain from using cars (Kasumigaseki No Car Day), [6] to recover fluorocarbons refrigerants fully and to purchase or use non-fluorocarbons aerosol products only.

Similarly, the Government should try to obtain the cooperation of local governments and private sector organizations and strive to expand these efforts.

5. Expansion of Greening Activities as Measures to Prevent Global Warming

To increase CO2 sinks, the Government should actively expand public greening activities by [1] developing citizen greening movements including those relating to Green Week (23 - 29 April) and Urban Greenery Month (October); [2] providing funding to afforesting activities by the Midori no Bokin fund, citizen greening activities by the Toshi Ryokka Kikin (Urban Green Fund), etc.; [3] promoting public-involved afforestation led by Forest Instructors, Tree Doctors, and All Japan Junior Green Friends' Federation; using school forests; implementing 'Kodomo Happa Hanteishi' activities to involve primary and secondary school students in research to measure the amount of CO2 absorbed by trees; and creating biotopes, i.e., habitats for birds, dragonflies, and other living things.

6. Implementation of Model Projects which Lead to Innovation in Societal Systems

Related ministries and agencies will work together to conduct innovative model projects for global warming prevention that involve public participation in collaboration with local Governments. These projects will effectively use existing measures in the various regions of the country.

  1. Constructing new energy related facilities
  2. Improving the road environment to promote bicycle use
  3. Developing the social infrastructure to promote public transportation
  4. Implementing environment-friendly traffic management
  5. Promoting tele-commuting, which utilizes telecommunications and information
  6. Promoting practices for environment-friendly lifestyle ('Eco Life')
  7. Using local wood resources for housing in conjunction with improving community based forests
  8. Promoting off-peak commuting to reduce road traffic congestion
  9. Promoting longer summer holidays

The effectiveness of these measures will be tracked. In general, these measures are a large-scale social experiment for the prevention of global warming.

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