Speeches by the Environment Minister

Statement by YAMAGUCHI Tsuyoshi, Minister of the Environment, Japan, on the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)(February 28, 2022)

Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

The IPCC has a long history of assessment reports, with the first assessment report dating back to 1990. World-class researchers, including Nobel laureate Dr. MANABE Syukuro, have shared their knowledge by contributing to the reports as authors. Dr. Manabe, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 in recognition of his research into numerical models for predicting climate change, was one of the authors of the IPCC's first and third assessment reports.

The Working Group II Report summarized the latest scientific findings, focusing on the area of "Adaptation to Climate Change and Impacts on Society." It was written by scientists, including the 9 researchers who participated in the project on the recommendation of the Japanese government.

In the SPM, for the first time for an IPCC assessment report, the Working Group II clearly stated that human-induced climate change has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability. It also observed that as global warming progresses, many natural and social systems will reach the adaptation limits. Moreover, it reaffirmed that if the rise in global temperature exceeds 1.5°C, many natural and social systems will face additional severe risks, compared to the increase remaining below 1.5°C. It was also noted that keeping the rise in temperature around 1.5°C would significantly reduce the impacts.

I take this report as a reiteration of the importance of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C and of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Therefore, we should further promote mitigation measures and high-level adaptation measures to ensure the sustainable development of human civilization and harmony with the world's rich natural environments.

Last year, at the World Leaders' Summit held at the beginning of the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio called on all signatory countries to implement ambitious climate change countermeasures. In addition, the prime minister announced Japan's commitment to provide additional financial support totaling 10 billion USD in the coming five years, and to support developing countries' adaptation measures by doubling its assistance to approximately 14.8 billion USD over the five years to 2025.

Furthermore, at the Conference, it was decided to launch the Glasgow-Sharm el-Sheikh Work Programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) as a two-year program for continued discussion toward the achievement of the GGA.

Japan will contribute to international discussions at COP 27 and on other occasions through the input of its scientific findings and domestic and international measures. Then, toward the creation of the "Asia Zero-Emissions Community," Japan will export technologies for decarbonization and climate change adaptation to developing countries and contribute to their deployment within those countries. We will thereby foster measures for climate change adaptation and mitigation in an integrated manner both domestically and internationally.

Last October, the Cabinet approved the Climate Change Adaptation Plan, based on the latest scientific findings, and the government of Japan has been implementing a range of measures for adaptation by working together with all government organizations.

In the plan, adaptation measures have been expanded in a range of fields, including disaster prevention, agriculture, and health. Moreover, the formulation of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the management of progress with the measures have been promoted under the leadership of Japan's Ministry of the Environment. For the achievement of the targets set in the plan, we will also support the measures implemented by local governments and private business operators and will make an all-out effort for the creation of a sustainable and resilient society in Japan.