Kyoto city pledges target of zero emissions by 2050

16 May 2019

By Melissa Angel, communications coordinator, Global Landscapes Forum.

Kyoto will meet a target of zero emissions by 2050 in line with the global emissions goals detailed in the Paris Agreement on climate change, the city’s mayor said on Monday.

Daisaku Kadokawa made the announcement at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) conference, GLF Kyoto 2019, which was held on the sidelines of the 49th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) in Japan’s ancient capital. 

“It is from Kyoto that we make an appeal to the world that we will pursue all necessary measures and advance concrete actions toward ‘net zero’ carbon dioxide emissions around 2050 in order to keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius on the basis of the IPCC 1.5-degree special report,” Kadokawa stated.

The two events, held back-to-back in the Kyoto International Conference Center, are responding to the scientific evidence and moral imperative for urgent and rapid action to mitigate the dire effects of climate change, which scientists say are evidenced by the severity of an increasing number of floods, droughts, heat waves and rising sea levels.

In 2005, Kyoto was the first city in Japan to enact an ordinance specifically addressing global warming. In 2016, it was selected for inclusion in the 100 Resilient Cities program initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation, which aids cities in strategic planning to build resilience and emergency preparedness, including fortifications against the impact of climate change. 

The announcement comes as an encouraging prelude for the U.N. Climate Action Summit to be hosted by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York on Sept. 23, 2019, where governments are expected increase the ambition of their national commitments to reduce planet warming greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to aid sustainable development domestically and abroad.

GLF will follow with a day of activities on the heels of the climate summit on Sept. 28 with the aim of developing a roadmap for the U.N. Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, an initiative adopted by the General Assembly in early March to curb emissions through restoring degraded ecosystems.

GLF is a collaborative, mobile platform for discussions leading to action on landscape restoration, rights, finance, food and livelihood initiatives.

It is led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), supported by UN Environment and the World Bank.  

In conjunction with its many charter members, GLF also tracks and measures progress on meeting the targets laid out in the U.N. Paris Agreement on climate change and the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In Kyoto, GLF staged its first ever 24-hour Digital Edition, which was broadcast live from seven countries across the globe in three acts. Act II featured the livestream from the conference in the Kyoto International Conference Center.

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