United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

International Cooperation through a Strong Partnership between ICLEI and Strategies for Climate Change in Kyoto City

International Cooperation through a Strong Partnership between ICLEI
Strategies for Climate Change in Kyoto City
Ladies and gentlemen. My name is Tsutomu Uehara, and I am the deputy mayor of the
city of Kyoto. I am here today on behalf of Kyoto May or Yurikane Masumoto as a
representative of Kyoto city.
Please let me express my sincerest appreciation to all of you who have provided me with
the opportunity to make this presentation today.
Overview of Kyoto
First, I would like to tell you a bit abou t Kyoto.
The city of Kyoto is located near the center of the island of Honshu, in the country of
Japan, which is in East Asia.
The city has a population of approximately 1.47 million and covers an area of
approximately 828 square kilometers. Kyoto served as the capital of Japan for more
than 1,000 years, and the city has developed as an important center for politics,
economics, culture and arts in Japan.
Kyoto city is one of the world's few historical cities that have been able to maintain its
ancient cultural assets and beautiful natural scenery. And as such, Kyoto is proud to
serve as host for The World Conference of Historical Cities.
Kyoto city, as a city of history and culture, aims to be a city where the people of the
world can come together in peace and freedom, looking beyond differences in race,
religion and social systems to freely interact and experience cultural interchange. To
that end, our city established the Declaration as a city open to the free exchange of
world cultures in 1978, and we are working to promote urban development for the Kyoto
City of the 21st century as we strive to become an ideal city that realizes the idea of
being a "Perpetually new cultural city that continuously creates outstanding culture."
In particular, our lifestyles that have been supported by social systems of mass
production, mass consumption, and mass waste production have, in recent years, placed
great burden on the environment and have brought about environmental problems of
global scale, such as climate ch ange. These problems have begun to rock the very
foundation of human existence. Our city has long been concerned with these global
problems, and we have been working on various projects that utilize the lifestyle culture
of Kyoto City, a city that has a history of natural abundance, that has coexisted
harmoniously with nature, and which places great value on those things that nature
has given us. Kyoto recognizes that one major role for our historical city to play in the
world today is to make the world aware of the environment-related efforts we have been
At the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change held in Kyoto City in December 1997, the Kyoto Protocol
was adopted, and the protocol entered into force in February 2005. In concert with this
global movement, Kyoto City is beginning to take action that reaches across the world
in response to the serious problem of climate change, an important issue which
threatens sustainable development. Through this, Kyoto strives to fulfill its
responsibilities as the city where the Kyoto Protocol was born.
Now, I would like to introduce you to some of the various projects we have undertaken
in Kyoto.
One Kyoto City Project -? Local Global Warming Countermeasure Ordinance
Kyoto city put its Local Global Warming Countermeasure Ordinance into effect in April
2005, becoming the first city in Japan to enact this type of ordnance. The immediate
goal for this ordinance is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse
gases in Kyoto City till 2010 by 10% compared with 1990 emission levels. This exceeds
the 6% reduction obligation set for Japan as a whole by the Kyoto Protocol. The
ordinance defines various climate change countermeasures and activities to be
undertaken by the city, its businesses, its residents, and even by tourists visiting our
historical city, and the ordinance has been established as an evolving ordinance that
will continuously be under review.
For example, the ordinance promotes efforts that the people of the city can make in
their daily lives, such as saving electricity by using low-energy products, making use of
public transportation and bicycles, and striving to reduce waste output. Businesses of a
specific size or larger and building owners must submit plans and reports related to
emission reduction, and businesses that sell air -conditioning equipment must attach a
label to the equipment showing the energy consumption of the equipment, and must be
able to provide an explanation of the energy efficiency of the equipment. This ordinance
is gradually achieving the effect.
Specific Examples of Kyoto City Projects ? Bio-Diesel Fuel and KES and others
One specific example of a Kyoto City project is our bi o-diesel fuel production project. As
you probably know, a popular food in Japan is tempura, which is made by frying shrimp,
vegetables, and other foods in cooking oil. The disposal of this cooking oil can be a
problem. For example, if it is simply put down the drain, it creates increased burden for
sewage processing plants. With our bio-diesel fuel production project, we currently have
approximately 1,000 bases for collecting the cooking oil that has been used to prepare
this traditional tempura as well as other foods, and approximately 100,000 of our city's
residents are participating in the collection effort. The oil is refined at a fuel conversion
plant in the city, and the resulting fuel is used to power 220 garbage collection vehicles
and 95 of the city's buses. We estimate that the use of this fuel is reducing the annual
emission of carbon dioxide by approximately 4,000 tons.
Another project is the KES Environmental Management System Standard. The
proportion of sm all and mid-sized businesses in Kyoto is very large. (the number of
small and mid-sized business is 86,836 in total, 99.2% of the entire business number.)
The ISO 14001 international standard related to the environment already defines
environment management systems, but to h elp our city's small- and mid-sized
businesses introduce their own environment management systems, a standard was
needed that would be easier to understand and would require less financial investment.
As such, we have worked in cooperation with businesses to develop KES as our own
unique environment management system standard for small- and mid-sized businesses.
We estimate that by achieving KES certification, one company will reduce its annual
emission of carbon dioxide by approximately 10 t ons. At present, m ore than 500
businesses have received certification for KES, and KES-related efforts are spreading
throughout the country.
Another effort to promote the new energy development being made by the city is the
establishment of a system to encourage the installation of solar electric generation
systems for residential homes. We have also established a system by which incineration
facilities in the city that burn residential garbage can use the resulting heat to generate
electricity. This electricity is sold to electric power companies, creating an income for the
city of approximately ¥500 million, or $4 million, per year. A part of income resulting
from this sale of electricity is then used to finance the system for encouraging the
installation of solar electric generation systems.
One of our more recent efforts is the establishment of a system to counter the heat
island phenomenon by promoting the planting of greenery on building rooftops and
walls. And something that we are researching as a possible future countermeasure to
global warming is a system for generating the hydrogen gas used by fuel cells from
biomass, such as wet refuse generated in homes.
International Projects
Through alignments with other municipalities, one municipality is able to interact and
conduct exchanges with other cities in the form of information exchanges and network
formation, and such interaction need not be concerned with the national interests of the
respective countries.
Kyoto City is actively working on such international approaches. For example, Kyoto
participates in ICLEI, a council of local governments and municipalities striving for
sustainability. Also, on the date on which the Kyoto Protocol was put into effect, Kyoto
Mayor Masumoto issued a message to the mayors of more than 500 municipalities
around the world asking the municipalities to work together on global warming
countermeasures. Thus, thanks to the strong support from ICLEI and from those
municipalities that were in agreement with the efforts being made by Kyoto City, the
establishment of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change became a possibility.
The inaugural meeting of this council was held in Montr eal, Canada, on December 5,
2005. At the meeting, it was decided that efforts would be made to strengthen tieups
between municipality leaders, to strengthen international cooperation, and to promote
the exchange of information related to climate change countermeasures at the local
level. Various appointments were also made, with the council founder Kyoto Mayor
Masumoto being named honorary chairperson, Barbel Dieckmann, Lady Mayor of Bonn,
Germany being named chairperson, and David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, Canada, being
named vice chairperson. The second general meeting of the council is scheduled to be
held in Kyoto City in February 2007. As a networked organization of the municipality
leaders of the world, an organization specializing in climate change countermeasures,
the council is expected to play a role of increasing importance in the promotion of the
formation of sustainable societies.
All of us in Kyoto City sincerely hope that all of you will participate in the second
meeting of the council.
Kyoto City as a Leading Environment City
In order to leave a global environment of rich abundance to future generations, our city
of Kyoto is working together with its residents, in the ways I have discussed, with the
goal of becoming a leading city in terms of environmental efforts, and doing what we can
to contribute to the resolution of environmental problems on a global scale.
To conclude my presentation , I extend a sincere welcome you to the City of Kyoto, the
spiritual home of the Japanese people. Thank you very much for your kind attention.