Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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UK & Japan - working towards a low-carbon society

UK & Japan - working towards a low-carbon society

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (News Release ref : 172/07) issued by The Government News Network on 13 June 2007

Environment Minister Ian Pearson today highlighted the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the start of a three day workshop on moving to a low-carbon society.

The workshop, Achieving a Sustainable Low-Carbon Society, is a collaboration between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and The Ministry of Environment Japan (MoEJ) to help establish the practical steps necessary to make low-carbon societies a reality.

It has three main objectives:

* To demonstrate and raise awareness of the benefits of moving to a low-carbon society through sustainable development;

* To develop recommendations on how to close the gap between the business-as-usual and low-carbon society scenarios;

* To develop the framework for a map of low-carbon society activities.

Ian Pearson said:

"To achieve real global change, developed economies need to show leadership at home - particularly in supporting the move to a low-carbon society.

"Japan is one of our key partners in paving the way towards a low-carbon society and our two Prime Ministers remain at the forefront of efforts to secure international agreement on a future framework. This close partnership is reflected at every level and UK-Japan collaboration on this vital issue is the strongest it has ever been.

"The UK-Japan collaboration on low-carbon societies shows what we are able to achieve together and will provide the opportunity to take a decisive step forward in the battle to combat climate change."

Japanese Ambassador to the UK, Yoshiji Nogami said:

"Tackling Climate Change is at the top of the agenda between Japan and the UK. This January, Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Blair issued the Japan-UK joint statement. In this statement, we identified Climate Change as one of four key issues for us to work on together. We also agreed to work together on joint research on science and technology for a Low Carbon Society as well. We see 2008 is very crucial from the viewpoint of formulating the post 2012 framework, and in that context, G8 summit in Japan next year is very challenging. I welcome the significant inputs and contribution from this joint project to that process in order to tackle climate change together."

Mr Pearson is speaking at the event along with Mr Nogami. Around 35 business leaders, 15 government officials, 30 leading academic experts and 10 representatives of international organisations are attending the conference which aims to build on the foundations set by the first workshop in Tokyo last year.

The results from the workshop will be used to inform discussion in fora such as the G8 Dialogue Ministerial meeting and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Case studies of low-carbon cities including Dontang Eco-city (China) and Sseesamirembe Eco-city (Uganda) will be presented at the workshop. These cities mark the forefront of sustainable development and are important in ongoing research concerning low-carbon societies.

Notes to editor

1. The first Japan-UK Low-Carbon Society conference was held 14-16 June 2006 in Tokyo. An executive summary from this workshop can be accessed at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/internat/pdf/low-carbon-societies.pdf

2. Achieving a Sustainable Low-Carbon Society comprises a one-day symposium and discussion to demonstrate and raise awareness of the necessity, feasibility and benefits of moving to a low-carbon society through sustainable development. This precedes a two-day workshop to demonstrate and raise awareness of the necessity, feasibility and benefits of moving to a low-carbon society through sustainable development.

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