Speeches by the Environment Minister

Statement by KOIZUMI Shinjiro, Minister of the Environment, Japan, on the sixth Assessment Report (AR6) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (August 9, 2021)

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, released the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) <Working Group I>.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude and respect for the efforts of the ten authors recommended by Japan and selected by IPCC and the many other experts who worked on this report.

This report contains a number of conclusive findings, including three key findings.


First, while the previous report illustrated that there is at least 95% certainty that human activities are the main cause of global warming since the mid-20th century, AR6 confirms, for the first time, that it is unequivocal that human influence caused global warming.


Secondly, it evidences for the first time that extreme weather and climate events such as extreme heatwaves and heavy rainfall events which cause life-threatening damage have become more frequent and more intense in every region across the globe. In addition, it is reported with an extremely likely (more than 95%) that hot extremes including heatwaves can be attributed to human influence. For example, it is confirmed that the extreme rainfall and record high temperatures in Japan in July 2018 were caused by global warming.


Third, it was reported that achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 would be able to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 rather than 2.0, thereby reducing by 30% the probability of the once-in-50-year high temperature extremes occurring in recent years.

Regarding the international community, the G20 Climate and Energy Ministers' meeting, held last month, recognized that limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 will require meaningful and effective actions by all countries.

In light of these important scientific findings, we will raise our ambition with nations around the world and demonstrate Japan's environmental and climate diplomacy to ensure that COP26 will lead to the steady implementation of the Paris Agreement.

I will do my best to strengthen bold policies to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5℃ in response to the climate crisis that is already having devastating impacts. First, we will develop the Climate Change Mitigation Action Plan including carbon pricing toward 2030. Finally, I would like to share with everyone our hope that successful emissions reduction measures still have the potential to limit natural disasters. I am determined to advance climate change policies with the civil society and provide hope for future generations.