UNIDO organized “Achieving global carbon neutrality – collaboration with developing and emerging nations” on 7 October 2021, as part of online events in the 2021 ICEF Program.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) co-organized the online event “Achieving global carbon neutrality – collaboration with developing and emerging nations” at the 8th annual meeting of the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF 2021) on October 7, 2021. At this event, stakeholders from government, industry, academia from both developed and developing countries came together to discuss issues and solutions to achieve carbon neutrality all over the world.
Mr. Michihiro Kishimoto, Deputy Director-General for Industrial Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), made guest remarks by touching upon the large-scale natural disasters that have occurred around the world in recent years and stressing that “PIE”: 1) Pathway, 2) Innovation, and 3) Engagement, are necessary to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement and global carbon neutrality.
Professor Taikan Oki, Department of Civil Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, pointed out greenhouse gas emissions from developing and emerging countries are increasing year by year in his keynote speech entitled “Toward Carbon Neutrality.” He also mentioned that about 10% of the world’s population does not have access to electricity, and carbon-neutral investment will contribute not only to environmental protection but also to improving energy sufficiency in developing countries. He emphasized the need for building a cooperative system between developed countries and developing/emerging countries.
In a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head, UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office, Tokyo, six panelists participated, and each of them first presented their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality in each country and international organization, followed by Q&A session and discussions for further realization.
Firstly, Mr. Valli Moosa, ICEF Steering Committee Member; Head of the South African Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission, presented the situation for the realization of a low carbon society in South Africa. Especially in some rural areas, economic activities tend to depend on the coal-fired power stations and related industries, so transforming the regional economy is one of the major challenges to achieving carbon neutrality in South Africa. Also, he emphasized the need for international agreements between developing and developed countries that provide necessary funds.
Mr. Xu Lin, Chairman of the China-U.S. Green Fund, spoke about the China’s situation and explained decarbonization of the energy sector, which accounts for 50% of domestic carbon dioxide emissions, and the urban area, which emits 75% of the total, is the key to achieving carbon neutrality, and it is possible for China to meet the goal within 40 years, although there are challenges.
Mr. Wolfgang Niedermark, Member of Executive Board, Federation of German Industries (BDI), presented opportunities and challenges, focusing on seven energy-intensive industries, such as steel and metals. Those industries are playing fundamental roles in German society and the value chain. He emphasized the importance of achieving both the protection of industries and the carbon neutrality.
Dr. Hicham Bouzekri, Director, R&D and Industrial Integration, Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN), introduced the efforts of the renewable energy business and challenges and opportunities in Morocco. He additionally mentioned the potential pathway to achieving carbon neutrality as the whole North African region, centered on partnerships and regional networks.
Dr. Clara Landeiro, Asia-Pacific Manager, Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN), gave a presentation entitled “International Cooperation in the Areas of Technical Assistance and Capacity Building”. She explained how CTCN supports developing countries to meet their SDGs on climate change from an international organization perspective.
Dr. Akira Yoshino, Fellow and Director, Global Zero Emission Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) (Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry 2019), described the institute’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality using examples of solar power generation and synthetic fuels.
After the presentations, the following four points were highlighted as a summary of the discussion.
1) Cooperation between developed countries and developing/emerging countries is indispensable for achieving carbon neutrality on a global scale.
2) The development and deployment of low-carbon technology is a major issue for humankind, but it is also a huge business opportunity.
3) However, it requires costs, time, and wisdom and is thus not easy. Besides, in order to apply new technology in society, huge investments and transformation of the entire society are required.
4) There is a need to create an international consensus and promotion framework for these challenges now.
In the closing remarks, Mr. Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General, UNIDO, summarized that solving multiple issues at the same time, such as economic growth, industrial development, and building a stable energy supply system, is the path to achieving carbon neutrality. He concluded by saying “UNIDO is firmly committed to the bright future of ‘Beautiful Earth’, together with government, industry, academia and civil society as a partner of ICEF”.
|Thursday, 7 October 2021
|English (for Japanese audience, simultaneous interpretation into Japanese was provided)
|Free of charge
Mr. Michihiro Kishimoto,
Deputy Director-General for Industrial Science, Technology and Environmental Policy,
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan
Prof. Taikan Oki,
Former Senior Vice-Rector, United Nations University;
Special Advisor to the President of The University of Tokyo,
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head, UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office, Tokyo
Mr. Valli Moosa (South Africa), ICEF Steering Committee Member;
Head of the South African Presidential Climate Change Coordinating Commission;
Former President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
Mr. Xu Lin (China), Chairman of the China-U.S. Green Fund
Mr. Wolfgang Niedermark (Germany),
Member of Executive Board, Federation of German Industries (BDI)
Dr. Hicham Bouzekri (Morocco),
Director, R&D and Industrial Integration, Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN)
Dr. Clara Landeiro (International Organization),
Asia-Pacific Manager, Climate Technology Centre & Network (CTCN)
Dr. Akira Yoshino (Japan), Fellow and Director, Global Zero Emission Research Center,
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
(Nobel Prize laureate in Chemistry 2019)
Mr. Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Deputy to the Director General, UNIDO