The Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) engages in a wide range of activities to promote projects for conserving the global environment, including through international cooperation to provide technical assistance to developing countries and contribution to the fight against global warming, as well as to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement.
In FY2020, our activities to support the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), in line with one of the objectives of the GEC's establishment, included the organisation of an online seminar on plastic waste in collaboration with partners such as the City of Osaka, culminating in the sharing of Osaka Blue Ocean Vision at the G20 Osaka Summit. In an effort to achieve the SDGs, the IETC launched UNEP Sustainability Action, a cross-sectional platform for diverse parties including the UN, governments, businesses and civil society, to encourage sustainable action in daily life. The GEC is committed to working actively with the IETC to roll out this platform both in Japan and overseas.
Elsewhere in the field of international cooperation, our Support for Local Company Innovation Business (a project commissioned by the Kinki Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry) promoted the transfer of advanced environmental/energy-efficient technologies from Japan to overseas, particularly China and ASEAN countries, leveraging the Kansai Asia Environmental and Energy Saving Business Promotion Forum (Team E-Kansai) as a platform. In particular, our water-related business-matching project, implemented at an industrial park in Đồng Nai Province, Vietnam in collaboration with the Promotion of Water Environment Business project (commissioned by Shiga Prefecture), helped strengthen our efforts for business development and environmental improvement for the future.
With regard to climate action, Prime Minister Suga pledged in October 2020 ‘carbon neutrality by 2050', thus announcing Japan's commitment to net-zero emissions. With the return of the US to the Paris Agreement in February 2021 and the requirement for raising targets in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the run-up to COP26 slated for November 2021, climate action has been accelerating both nationally and internationally, as attested by Japan's raising of its 2030 reduction target to 46% compared with 2013 levels.
In an effort to promote the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), implemented by the Japanese government in coordination with partner countries, the GEC administers the Financing Programme for JCM Model Projects, intended to finance climate action projects in partner countries. While providing assistance in a series of procedures ranging from the registration of JCM projects to the issuance of credit, we have conducted extension and awareness-raising activities on the JCM both in Japan and overseas. Specific activities in FY2020 included the organisation of online seminars in five partner countries under the common theme of ‘Utilising JCM during the Covid-19 Period', which attracted a large number of participants. We also manage the Financing Programme to Demonstrate Decarbonisation Technology for Realising Co-Innovation, an initiative for collaboration between Japan and developing countries to renovate and demonstrate high-quality decarbonisation technology suited to the characteristics of the implementing country. Thus, the GEC is supporting climate action overseas through active implementation of various JCM-related projects as one of Japan's key interventions to address global warming.
Our training activities on environmental technology included the provision of a waste management technology course as a JICA training project. This course, leveraging our network with local governments and businesses in the Kansai area, was organised as a remote training course for the first time. We also sought to further our international cooperation including on human resource development, by building human networks with JICA training alumni overseas.
The GEC is committed to proactively contributing to the achievement of the SDGs and climate action under the Paris Agreement through closer coordination and cooperation with relevant institutions, and by leveraging our expertise, experience and national/international networks.
The Covid-19 pandemic will surely have a substantial impact on the entire human race and our lifestyles. Even during this unprecedented crisis, we will ensure that our projects make steady progress and will keep working to conserve the sustainable environment of our planet that supports the lives of everyone, keeping in mind the vision of the post-pandemic world.
We would appreciate your continued understanding and support for the GEC's activities.
Global Environment Centre Foundation