About OECC

Message from the President

竹本 和彦

Nowadays, we still face serious situation on the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been observed that the vaccination practices against the COVID-19 started taking place in Japan and overseas. However, the situation is still serious, such as the spread of new infections caused by variant viruses, and unfortunately, it does not seem for the international community to settle down the global pandemic of the COVID-19. OECC is operating by mobilizing a full range of preventive measures against COVID-19.

In these days, we have found the international community advance its policies and measures on climate change and sustainable development in an accelerated manner. In Japan, the Prime Minister Suga pledges “Carbon Neutrality by 2050” in October last year, and Japan has taken a major step toward new challenges. In the Diet, a bill to amend the “Global Warming Countermeasures Promotion Law” is under the discussion in order to incorporate a new article on carbon neutrality by 2050 into the present law. In addition, the Environment Minister Koizumi was concurrently appointed as the State Minister for Climate Change, and a new specialized secretariat division has been created in the Cabinet Office to support him. Furthermore, under the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters, the “Expert Taskforce on Climate Change” has been set up to discuss future policy direction to materialize a new pledge on “Carbon Neutrality by 2050” by realizing a green society from the perspective of a virtuous cycle of the economic growth and the environment. In response to these national policies, business sectors have started developing their new actions under the banner of “a virtuous cycle of the economic growth and the environment”.

In the international context, the US has come back to be a Party to the Paris Agreement under the leadership of the President Biden. He also organized the “Climate Change Summit” (on-line) in April 2021 by inviting the Heads of more than 40 states and regional entity to encourage them to demonstrate their political initiatives to step up their own Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) toward realizing carbon neutrality by 2050 through world-wide cooperation. In this Summit, the Prime Minister Suga delivered his statement to raise the level of the Japan’s commitment on GHG emissions reduction from 26% to 46% by 2030 from the base-line level of 2013.

With regard to the overseas expansion of green infrastructure, the Government of Japan decided on the “Infrastructure System Overseas Expansion Strategy 2025” (so-called “new strategy”) in December last year. In this strategy, “contribution to carbon neutrality” is positioned as one of the highest priority areas. Following this policy change, Keidanren announced its new initiative on “Overseas Expansion of Strategic Infrastructure Systems” to promote private investments in green infrastructure. In response to these developments, the “Japan Platform for Redesign: Sustainable Infrastructure” (JPRSI) has enhanced its activities in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders such as private companies, local governments and financial institutions. As the secretariat of JPRSI, OECC contributes to a sustainable future through a variety of its activities.

Likewise, OECC is committed to play an important role as a national focal institution in the field of environmental and development cooperation by making full use of our expertise and professional networks. In conclusion, I sincerely would like to seek your kind support and cooperation.

Kazuhiko (Kazu) Takemoto

President, OECC, Japan