• Kyodo


The government is planning to host a conference in December involving young people together with business and government figures to spur awareness of climate change, and create momentum toward achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, officials said Monday.

The event, dubbed a “national council,” is aimed at promoting use of renewable energy and eco-friendly lifestyles.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has made cutting greenhouse gas emissions to zero on a net basis by 2050 one of his administration’s major policies.

He unveiled the pledge in his first policy speech at the Diet in October, bringing Japan into line with economies such as the European Union and the U.K., which have set the same goal.

The national council has been conceived as a way of harnessing the energy of young people to tackle climate change. Young people around the world, notably Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, have taken a leading role in calling for climate action.

Participants at the upcoming meeting are expected to stress the importance of contributions by businesses to fighting climate change. Reducing plastic waste is also likely to be on the agenda.

Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, and Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi are among the potential attendees of the meeting, along with representatives of the manufacturing and financial sectors as well as local governments.

The participants are expected to discuss their roles in introducing renewable energy in local areas and promoting green investments for eco-friendly companies among other items.

In addition to the national council, the government aims to hold the first meeting of a separate council by the end of the year to discuss with local governments concrete measures that will cut emissions, the officials said.

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