Since the 1990s Japan, aided by specific plans and targets, has been addressing climate change at the local government level. However, the scope of action for regions and municipalities are predominantly restricted to reducing energy consumption and so far they have not been able to address the energy supply infrastructure.
Since the disasters of March 2011, Japan has also adopted government measures to promote distributed generation from renewable energy or power-heat coupling, but municipalities play a very small role. In contrast, in Germany power supply administration is traditionally divided between federal, state and local governments and the operation of local authorities in the energy field is equally divided. The electricity market was fully liberalized in the late 1990s and local initiatives on climate change and energy policy are gaining momentum. In many places, we can even observe positive impacts on regional development and the financial situation of municipalities.
Against this background at the end of August this year, mayors and other representatives from five local Japanese municipalities accepted an invitation extended by the German Federal Government to visit Germany and gather information on site about local climate change action and energy policy at the local and regional level.
This German-Japanese symposium shall – also based on reports from this trip – present the challenges for climate and energy policy in Japan's municipalities and regions. The presentation of effective examples from Germany shall inspire local representatives of both countries to discuss the ways and ideals of energy transition and climate change with other symposium participants. The results will then be presented to the governments.
Conference languages are German and Japanese with simultaneous translation into these languages.
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