About OECC

Message from the President

竹本 和彦

As the COVID-19 pandemic has seemed to gradually stabilize, the economic and social activities have slowly come back to a new normal. Under these circumstances, the OECC activities have accordingly resumed overseas operations by working with local counterparts while limiting business trips in a reasonable manner.

On the other hand, the international community has faced energy and food security issues caused by the recent Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. In spite of the concerns over these circumstances, the actions to address climate change have become more and more active toward realizing a decarbonized society, following the outcome of the COP26 in Glasgow of the last year. The 6th IPCC WG3 Assessment Report was recently released and strongly urged the international community to accelerate future actions.

In Japan, remarkable progress has been made with the aim of promoting efforts towards its decarbonized society, since the first group “decarbonized leading cities and districts” were selected by the government. In addition, the “Framework for Economic Development and Reform 2022” was decided by the Cabinet in early June and delivered a clear message in developing the “Green Transformation” (GX).

Based on these dynamic developments in the world, OECC organized its “4th Hashimoto Memorial Symposium” and discussed future actions on climate change and possible responses to Ukraine crisis.
In this symposium, it was reported that Japan is actively developing financial and technical assistance to Ukraine and its neighboring countries. There was a concern that climate change actions would be retarded due to the recent crisis in Ukraine, however, according to the public opinion survey conducted by an international research institute, it is noted that such phenomena do not happen and rather, actions toward carbon neutral have been confirmed in a stable manner. It was also shared to diversify the resource supply chain and to promote and accelerate renewable energy.

A participant from the floor pointed out that there are serious concerns about the current situation where the aggregation of scientific knowledge such as IPCC is shared internationally, but it is not easily linked to the behavior of companies and citizens. Panelists responded that scientific knowledge was steadily reflected in policy making in the long run, and at the same time, there is a huge gap in the way of understanding scientific knowledge between Japan and the international community. Therefore, the panel strongly urged all the stakeholders to take every action to address this discrepancy.
This symposium will be summarized in the forthcoming issue of the “OECC Newsletter” sooner or later. We would like to continue to organize these opportunities to discuss how we should address the issues we face and how we should respond to them.

We would like to contribute to the international community by responding to these dynamisms in the world in a timely manner as a national central player in the field of international cooperation on environment and development.

Kazuhiko (Kazu) Takemoto

President, OECC, Japan