Global Environment

Statement on the acceptance of the Paris Agreement

November 8, 2016
Kouichi Yamamoto
Minister of the Environment

I am pleased to announce that today the Japanese Government has decided to accept the Paris Agreement, having received the approval from our Diet. Its instrument of acceptance will be deposited to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 8 November. Let me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those concerned who expended tremendous efforts to enable Japan's concluding of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, I feel a keen responsibility to protect future generations against the threat of climate change.

The Paris Agreement is a fair agreement applicable to all parties for the first time in history and serves as a turning point with an eye toward a decarbonized society. Under the Agreement, with the goal of holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C, the greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced essentially to zero by the second half of this century to achieve the goal. With this long-term goal in the Paris Agreement, it is important for us to accelerate strategic efforts and initiatives down the road.

With a view to achieving the Japan's national target of cutting emissions by 26% steadily by fiscal year 2030, on the basis of the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures, we will draw on all measure means possible. We are now promoting the preparation of a long-term strategy to boost not only technology innovation but also the innovation of social systems or lifestyles in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, as stipulated in the Plan. Through these initiatives, Japan, as an environmentally advanced country in the global community, is determined to assume a leadership role in the attempt to realize a decarbonized society.

Moreover, it is also crucial to further enhance the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement. To this end, Japan will take on the central role in setting rules under the Agreement and will promote the dissemination of advanced environmental and energy technologies through various means, including the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), thereby contributing to global emission cuts.

Under the Paris Agreement, the global community has already begun its trek toward the goal of achieving a decarbonized society. The thorough saving of energy and significant expansion of renewable energy, which hold the key to realizing a decarbonized society, will not only serve as the new driving force for growth by increasing carbon productivity and expanding domestic investment and regional economic circulations, but also lead to simultaneously solving economic and social issues that Japan faces. In order to overcome climate change and pass on this beautiful earth to future generations, Japan will implement a nationwide movement to take up this challenge in cooperation with people from all quarters toward a decarbonized society.

Thank you very much.

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