Press Release

Results of the 29th Asia Pacific Regional Seminar on Climate Change

March 15, 2021

Summary of the Meeting

(1) Schedule

 March 4th - 5th, 2021

(2) Host

 Ministry of the Environment, Japan and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia

(3) Secretariat

 Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center (OECC)

(4) Participants

 Participants from the Asia-Pacific region (19 countries and organizations), international organizations and research institutes (8 organizations), experts from the private sector (4 companies), and others (59 people in total).

(5) Outline of discussion

Session 1. Innovations toward decarbonization technologies and designing of the decarbonized society 

 The Australian National University and the University of Tokyo introduced their ongoing research on decarbonization technologies, and the challenges brought by decarbonization technologies, and research toward the implementation of the circular and ecological economy.

 Two Japanese companies and two Australian companies introduced specific examples of their development of decarbonization technologies such as wind power, hydrogen fuel, large-scale solar power generation, and long-distance power transmission, as well as their efforts to implement their innovations in society.

 Japan's Ministry of the Environment and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported on their policies and support schemes for promoting innovation and decarbonization technologies.

 In a group discussion, participants discussed the potential of international cooperation, the roles of the private sector and governments, of a socioeconomic redesign in the COVID-19 recovery, and the role of innovations in building back better.

 It was emphasized that industry-government-academia collaboration is more important than ever in international cooperation, in addition to cooperation among countries. Also, it was stressed that, with consistent policies, governments would signal direction that society is heading toward, thereby encouraging innovations by the private sector.

 As for COVID-19 recovery measures, participants shared a recognition of the necessity to achieve a green recovery and a social redesign through innovations such as the continued promotion of renewable energy and ICT-mediated remote management systems to enable physical distancing (social distancing), in response to future energy demand.

Session 2. Formulation of Long-Term Strategy (LTS)

 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) introduced factors to consider in the development of an LTS, followed by Singapore and Fiji's presentations on their LTS submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In addition, Vietnam introduced its policy to update their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and formulate the next National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS), which will serve as their long-term strategy.

 The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) introduced the Asia-Pacific Integrated Assessment Model (AIM) as a model to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios in the development of LTSs. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) presented a new analytical approach for integrating climate change measures in developing countries' COVID-19 recovery package.

 In the group discussion, each group discussed synergies between LTSs and other national strategies and plans, the integration of the recovery package into LTSs, and the role of international cooperation to support the formulation of LTSs were discussed.

 In the process of developing LTSs, it was recognized that scenario development is useful for the creation of synergies between LTSs and short- and medium-term plans such as NDCs. In addition, the linkage with sectoral development strategies and the involvement of the private sector was recognized as important.   

 With regard to the COVID-19, it was suggested that innovative measures by governments and the private sector are needed to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 on economy, society and lifestyles. Also, it was mentioned that LTSs should be formulated considering the possibility of future epidemic outbreaks that may occur due to climate change.  

 In addition, it was pointed out that LTSs would be formulated under some degree of scientific uncertainty with respect to fast-changing technologies and projections of future climate change impacts.

 Lastly, the importance of a collaborative approach to find the best solution by sharing experiences and knowledge among countries in the region was raised, and not restricted to the unilateral support provided by developed countries.

For Japanese

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