As Shunsuke Shimbori guides visitors past displays on water usage, daily waste and forestry at the city of Kyoto's Miyako Ecology Center, he stresses the importance of environmental education and conservation.

Built in 2002 as a legacy of the Kyoto Protocol, the center is a place where staff members like Shimbori and community volunteers give tours and organize events to teach people about global warming and the lifestyle changes they can make to help curb emissions.

As countries stare down a crisis that is already having a profound impact on day-to-day lives, the urgency of such changes has increased. But 25 years after Japan hosted the landmark COP3 climate talks where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, the country’s record at the national level is a study in contrasts.