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A visit to Japan by Sir David King, the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Sir David King, the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change, visited Japan from 12-13 May and met with key government officials, lawmakers, and key business leaders.

The British Embassy Tokyo co-organised a pre-launch of the Japanese version of 2050 Calculator in honour of Sir David’s visit on the 12th May. And on the 13th, Sir David gave a presentation on climate change and resource security at a symposium organised by the Diet Energy Committee and ‘Genpatsu Zero no Kai’ lawmakers (a group of politicians campaigning for scrapping of nuclear reactors).

Sir David King, who has been appointed the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change in September 2013, visited Japan on 12-13 May. Sir David was previously the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 – 2007, during which time he raised awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change. The visit to Japan was his 20th visit abroad ever since he took up his current position. During his visit in Tokyo, he met with key government officials, key lawmakers including ‘zero nuclear group’, and key business leaders.

On 12th May, Sir David King opened a pre-launch event of the Japanese version of 2050 Calculator which was organised together with Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) who are think-tanks under the Ministry of Environment. The 2050 Calculator is an open source energy and emissions models developed by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to identify different pathways to achieve an -80% emissions by 2050 while meeting energy demand. In the UK, 2050 Calculator has helped the public to communicate this complex issue and to explore the trade-offs between different technology options. The event gave an opportunity for all participants to try out the Japanese version of the 2050 Calculator and to learn what the 2050 Calculator can do.

During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the UK at the beginning of May, Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, had the opportunity to introduce the UK’s 2050 Calculator to PM Abe. In the UK-Japan Joint Statement on Climate Change and Energy Cooperation released on 1 May, the 2050 Calculator was mentioned in the text as follows: ‘We will, furthermore, increase the scope for further cooperation and information sharing on policies…and the deployment of the 2050 Pathways Calculator which can be used to engage a range of audiences in discussion in the challenges and opportunities of the future energy system.’ The UK Government will continue to support Japan to further develop the Calculator and to support energy literate discussions in Japan.

On 13 May, Sir David gave a presentation on climate change and resource security at a symposium organised by the Diet Energy Committee and ‘Genpatsu Zero no Kai’ lawmakers (a group of politicians campaigning for scrapping of nuclear reactors). Sir David shared that a global population was to increase to 5 billion in 2030 and eight key areas, including climate change, ecosystems, food production, water resources, conflict and terrorism, minerals, health and development, and energy supply, are challenges of the 21st century which require new approach to tackle the big issues. He also emphasised the importance for all countries to aim at 2 tons/CO2 emission per person saying this was equitable for all. In terms of Japan’s commitment, he urged Japan to reaffirm the 80% emissions reduction by 2050 and to submit ambitious post-2020 mitigation contributions as promised.