"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo


[Place] Tokyo
[Date] September 16, 2004
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Participants from 19 parties of the UNFCCC and 3 observers attended the Informal Meeting on ‘Further Actions against Climate Change,’ hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, in Tokyo on 15-16 September 2004. The meeting was convened by Japan and Brazil with the valuable financial contribution of Canada. The meeting was explicitly referred to in the Joint Communiqué between Japan and Brazil issued in Brasília on 16 September as one of the major bilateral initiatives on environmental issues by the Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi and the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The objective of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for policymakers to exchange views on various possibilities to strengthen actions against climate change, taking into account new input from the Informal Meeting on Modeling Activities dealing with Climate Change, held on 14 September 2004, back to back with the above meeting.

Among the points summarized in the attached summary, the main thrust of the discussions includes the following:

- Measures to tackle global climate change must be based upon scientific analysis and knowledge. Regarding the medium and long-term strategies on global climate change, international experts on scientific and economic modeling shared their knowledge on GHG emissions scenarios and reduction potentials with policymakers, based upon the available data and models. The importance of further dialogue and interaction between them to deepen understanding was emphasized.

- Vulnerability of developing countries and need for increased adaptation efforts should be particularly noted. The importance of focusing more on adaptation issues in the

international negotiations was generally agreed upon. It was also considered important to take further actions on mitigation and adaptation activities in a more comprehensive way. On the other hand, recognizing the lack of consensus on the definition of adaptation among the parties, many participants pointed out the necessity for further accumulation of scientific knowledge and enhancement of information sharing.

- It is necessary for all countries to further strengthen their actions against climate change. Several countries expressed their views that both Annex I and non-Annex I countries will need to take prudent actions against climate change. Many developing countries also showed their willingness to take further actions based on their country-specific socio-economic conditions, in line with “sustainable development” policies. As preconditions for such actions by developing countries, several issues, such

as early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, compliance by Annex I countries, and transfer of mitigation technologies, were also mentioned.

- The formal COP process should be reactivated to discuss future actions. Various opinions were expressed on what to discuss at COP 10 regarding future climate change actions. In this regard, a number of participants pointed out the necessity to organize specific occasions, such as seminars, to initiate analytical processes as a preparation for global discussions on future actions within the COP process.

What has been discussed at the meeting and summarized here is expected to provide valuable contribution to COP 10, constituting possible elements to be considered in the discussions on further actions.

The summary attached hereto was drafted under the responsibility of the two co-chairs, Mr. Masaki Konishi, Ambassador for Global Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Mr. Everton Vieira Vargas, Director, Department of the Environment and Special Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Relations of Brazil. The discussions took place on the understanding that the opinions expressed did not necessarily reflect the positions of governments.

Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change

Tokyo, Japan. 15-16 September, 2004


A. Modeling and Policy making:

● It is important to identify the ways to bring the accumulated data and knowledge into the actual negotiation process.

● The role of modeling in climate change policymaking can be crucial despite its inherent limitation. For the purpose of confidence-building between policymakers and modelers, relations between various models and the direction of the current international efforts to address climate change should be carefully examined.

● While it is difficult to distinguish natural variabilities in climate from extreme events caused by climate change, prediction of the frequency of the extreme climate events is an important element for decision making.

● Inter-linkage between modelers and policymakers, as well as between policymakers and research communities, is very important. Policymakers and modelers should have more interaction regarding data and information required.

B. Modeling and Capacity Building:

● Investment in capacity building for the modelers in developing countries should be promoted.

● Capacity of the experts/modelers in developing countries has been enhanced, although it still needs further enhancement.

● In regard to capacity building in developing countries, their efforts to produce national communications should be encouraged as a positive sign of engagement of developing countries to fulfill their commitments under the Convention.

● A sound system to collect reliable data should be established and human and institutional capacity should be strengthened to create and operate models within both developed and developing countries.

C. Modeling Challenges:

● In order to have more relevance for decision making, the results of the modeling exercises need to be evaluated carefully.

● Data quality issues need more attention since the situations facing us now are different from the time when we created the current framework. It is necessary to check if the model/data accurately reflects the reality of the society, both in developed and developing countries. Also, attention should be paid to the fact that very small differences in model assumptions can lead to great variation in results.

● UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol offer necessary points of reference for the work of modelers.

● The need for regional modeling activities was emphasized in the discussions, as there is a need for region/country-specific data in policy making in order to reflect the reality of the country/region concerned. In this regard, it was widely agreed that the participation of modelers from developing countries should be enhanced, in order to improve modeling quality.


A. Adaptation and Mitigation:

● Adaptation and mitigation cannot be entirely separated. The more we do on mitigation now, the less we need to do on adaptation. Views were also expressed for the need to deal with the two separately.

● Kyoto Protocol focuses on mitigation. In the evolution of the process, it is important to focus on adaptation as well. Discussion on adaptation needs should be given higher priority in international negotiations.

● Possible synergies between adaptation and mitigation measures should be considered in international negotiations and domestic policy debates in order to allocate human and financial resources efficiently.

● A view was raised that there is a need to distinguish between adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and adaptation to natural climate variability and that science has not yet been able to draw a clear distinction between natural climate variabilities and extreme events resulting from climate change.

B. Adaptation: Regional or Global?:

● Since adaptation measures are taken based on country/region-specific situations, the benefits of adaptation are considered local/regional rather than global. Therefore, in order to address adaptation in international negotiations, it is necessary to identify the global benefits accruing from the regional adaptation measures.

● Despite its local/regional characteristics, further technical and financial support should be provided to the countries with low capacity to make vulnerability assessment and to identify adaptation measures. In this regard, more support for the actual implementation of the adaptation measures should be provided.

● The regional character of adaptation measures points to the need for regional modeling.

C. Adaptation Challenges:

● Lack of a common understanding on the definition of adaptation may prevent modelers from further developing models on adaptation. A question as to the adequacy of the definition of adaptation by the UNFCCC was also raised.

● COP 10 is an excellent opportunity to discuss how to address adaptation in the international arena. In the process, the SBI and the SBSTA can coordinate closely in treating adaptation issues.

● Despite the growing importance of adaptation in policymaking, models for adaptation are not well developed due to the lack of reliable data from developing countries. To resolve this problem, further international collaboration is necessary.

● It is crucial for developing countries to develop capacity to make their own vulnerability assessments. International cooperation through increased technology transfer and capacity building is necessary.


A. Beyond Kyoto

● What “beyond” means in terms of timeframe is an essential question to be further discussed.

● Views were expressed as to whether and how informal discussions on future actions in the area of climate change should be included in the COP process.In this regard, particular attention was paid to the idea of holding seminars, raised at the Preparatory Meeting in Buenos Aires for COP10 meeting, September 5-7, 2004.

● Parties could submit papers proposing ideas on further actions and share them with other parties as the basis for discussions prior to such seminars.

● The forms of technology cooperation should be varied, ranging from bilateral to multilateral schemes, as well as cooperation through the public and the private sector. Technological cooperation among parties should make full use of modalities and mechanisms based on the Convention.

● The need was pointed out to show to the public the direction where we are going with the future framework, including its underlying economic forecast and prospect for technology development.

● In order to make the discussion process of future challenges universally acceptable, it is necessary to broaden the basis/scope of future climate policies.

● For mitigation and adaptation purposes, the role of technologies, such as low-emission, energy-efficient technologies, is very important. If the UNFCCC framework does not provide the parties with technology policies, it is necessary to formulate such policies as soon as possible in order to build post-2012 policies.

B. UNFCCC Process

(Challenges for the Convention Process)

● It is important to see to it that all discussions regarding climate change are brought to bear on the Convention process.

● Considering the nature of climate change, urgency was stressed.

● Exploring possibilities of new lifestyles – changes for sustainable patterns of production and consumption – in Annex I countries was mentioned.

● Scientific knowledge should be further accumulated. In this regard, the IPCC AR4 will be expected to provide more reliable data and scientific knowledge to facilitate the policy making process.

● Efforts made by developing countries on vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategies need more stimulus and investments from developed countries.

● Ambiguities regarding perceptions of Article 2 of the Convention should be addressed and resolved.

● Questions relating to equity may need additional clarification to better address issues related to further actions by parties.

● Issue on financing needs more attention in addressing global climate change.

(Technology Transfer)

● Transfer of environmentally friendly technologies from Annex I to Non-Annex I countries as well as capacity building efforts should be enhanced in order to implement the Kyoto Protocol effectively and efficiently. In this process, it is also crucial to figure out how the private sector in Annex I countries can contribute directly to enhancing technological capacity in developing countries.

● The public sector should coordinate a system designed to encourage technology cooperation between the private sectors in various countries.

● The important role of CDM for promoting technology transfer was emphasized.