The UN Climate Change Summit, SDG Summit, and other related events were held in New York surrounding the UN General Assembly in late September. During the “Summits Week 2019,” Yokohama City participated as a member of Japan Climate Initiative (JCI), a network composed of private companies, local governments, NGOs, and other leaders to pursue the goals of the Paris Agreement. At those events, Yokohama City was able to actively share Yokohama’s climate change countermeasures with the other participants. As a special note, Yokohama City’s determination to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 was delivered to the world in a speech by Minister Koizumi, the newly-appointed Japanese Minister of the Environment, in during a UN environmental meeting.
Since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched at the 2015 UN Summit, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), a ministerial-level meeting, has been held each year to review the progress of the SDGs. What marks this year as extraordinary is that the UN held an SDG Summit for the first time from September 25th to 27th, which was attended by many world leaders beyond the ministerial level. With this auspicious wind in the sails of the SDGs, Yokohama City answered New York City’s call for a Voluntary Local Review (VLR), a proposal that cities commit to review and report their city-level implementations toward the SDGs. Yokohama City’s Representative to the Americas, Makoto Sekiyama, joined the VLR Declaration event hosted by New York City to affirm Yokohama’s strategic and determined support of the SDGs alongside other echoing cities worldwide.
Reaching carbon neutrality and supporting the SDGs at the city level requires consideration of not only environmental and social aspects, but economic aspects as well. These days more consumers are preferring products and services which are environmentally friendly, and workforce talent is increasingly choosing leading companies in terms of energy efficiency and SDG-consciousness. Additionally, more and more companies are taking into consideration how they can increase energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint in the city when they select the locations of their offices. Yokohama City and its New York Representative office will be making every effort to continue to contribute to global sustainable development.
Japan Climate Initiative (JCI): https://japanclimate.org/english/
Introduction to Yokohama’s SDG support plan (PDF: ~14MB)
Related Articles: https://businessyokohama.com/blog/tag/sdgs/