Japan has the world’s third largest economy and is the world’s seventh largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. Climate leadership by the Japanese government and financial institutions is vital to meeting the 1.5 degree temperature rise goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. It is urgently important that Japan reduce its emissions, phase out fossil fuels, and accelerate renewable energy development that will create green jobs.
However, Japanese climate policy and finance are rated as insufficient by respected international authorities. The country still relies heavily on coal – the most heavily emitting of all fossil fuels. Japan is one of the world’s most active exporters and financiers of coal plants. Too often, the Japanese government supports unproven or false solutions to the crisis which are favoured by the fossil fuel industry.
Religious groups in Japan have an important role to play, by raising awareness about the threat of climate change and calling publicly for climate action that reflects spiritual wisdom and values. To advance this effort, GreenFaith – an international, multi-faith climate change organization – is working with Japanese religious and climate groups to organize this conference.
Conference participants will:
- Offer and listen to prayers and religious reflections on climate change
- Learn from Japanese scientific authorities about the urgent state of climate change and its impacts on Japan
- Gain knowledge about the need for change in climate policy by Japan’s government and financial institutions
- Hear from grassroots community leaders about the negative impact of Japan’s overseas financing of coal plants
- Understand the importance of a coal phase-out and a rapid increase in renewable energy
- Learn about opportunities for religious action for climate justice at the local and national levels
The conference is organized by GreenFaith, an international, multi-religious climate justice organization. It is co-sponsored by Religions for Peace – Japan, Soka Gakkai International, and Kiko Network.