Speeches by the Environment Minister

Statement by NISHIMURA Akihiro, Minister of the Environment, Japan, on the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC (March 20, 2023)

  Today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Summary for Policymakers of the Sixth Assessment Report Synthesis Report. The summary provides a review of the latest scientific findings related to climate change.

  The report presents a grim outlook on global warming, stating that “human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have unequivocally caused global warming” and that “continued greenhouse gas emissions will lead to increasing global warming, with the best estimate of reaching 1.5°C in the near term .” This indicates the need for rapid, significant, and immediate greenhouse gas emission reductions in all sectors this decade.

  However, the report also suggests that immediate actions will reduce the risks associated with global warming, such as rising sea levels, increased flooding and increased heat waves.

  In response to these scientific findings, Japan will continue strengthening both mitigation and adaptation measures. Last month, Japan’s Cabinet approved the Basic Policy for the Realization of Green Transformation (GX) and the GX Promotion Bill. Based on this, the Japanese Government will aim to achieve net zero by 2050, and strengthen industrial competitiveness and economic growth at the same time, by introducing growth-oriented carbon pricing to generate over 150 trillion yen of GX investment, both public and private, over the next 10 years. Furthermore, Japan will promote initiatives from the demand side, such as regional decarbonisation and support for home insulation retrofitting, and encourage the shift towards decarbonised and prosperous lifestyles through a new national campaign. In addition, in order to reduce the health hazards caused by heat waves, the Ministry of the Environment has submitted to the Japanese Diet a reform proposal to the Climate Change Adaptation Act, notably to drastically reinforce heat stroke measures by going a step further with the introduction of special heat stroke alerts.

  To limit global warming level to 1.5˚C, global emissions, including emissions from Japan, need to be significantly reduced. Our country will contribute to global decarbonisation notably through the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) established by Japan and City-to-City collaboration projects, particularly in Asia. As the G7 Presidency, Japan will lead the international community towards achieving global decarbonisation at the G7 Ministers’ Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo next month.

  We need to recognise that each and every one of us has a significant role to play in the transition toward a decarbonised society. I would like to ask all of you for your cooperation in this endeavour.