Task Force 3: Climate Change and Environment

Background and Challenges

Climate Change and Environment

The international community adopted the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for the SDGs in 2015. Today, the priority is how to implement these commitments.

Climate change is an issue the international community must address collectively, and the steadfast implementation of the Paris Agreement is urgently needed. Since climate change is accelerating more quickly than expected, we must swiftly take more robust action. At the same time, investment in sustainable energy sources, clean energy technologies and infrastructure brings opportunities for innovation, sustainable and inclusive growth, competitiveness, and job creation. Moreover, addressing climate change is a critical pillar for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Based on these ideas, accelerating the virtuous cycle of environmental protection and economic growth are urgently required.

Lead Co-Chair

Kazuo Matsushita, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)


  • John Kirton, University of Toronto
  • Hiroshi Komiyama, Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI)
  • Gabriel Lanfranchi, Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
  • Ajay Mathur, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
  • Miranda Schreurs, Technical University of Munich
  • Koichi Yamada, Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy (LCS), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)

For further information and inquiries, please contact Satoshi Kojima and Kazuo Matsushita.

T20 on Climate Change and Environment

There is plenty of data on climate change and environmental issues but not enough policy action, says Kazuo Matsushita, Lead Co-Chair of the T20 Task Force which is working to help G20 countries fill the void.

Remarks by T20 Japan Climate and Environment Task Force Lead Co-Chair, Global Solutions Summit 2019

T20 Japan Climate and Environment Task Force Lead Co-Chair Kazuo Matsushita addresses the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin, Germany.

Policy Proposals Framework

The Government of Japan has put forward the concept of a Regional Circular and Ecological Sphere (Regional CES) in its 2018 Fifth Basic Environment Plan as key to realizing a paradigm shift towards a model sustainable society, fully compatible with the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. Regional CES emphasizes sustainable and optimal utilization of regional resources to form a self-reliant and decentralized society. The concept of Regional CES is relevant not only for Japan but also for other G20 members for implementing the Paris Agreement and the SDGs.

Task Force 3 (TF3) plans to develop such recommendations underpinned by the following key ingredients of a Regional CES:

  • an economic system and rules to establish a decarbonised and climate-resilient society,
  • sustainable community development using local resources,
  • improving the value of land as stock, and a circular economy.

Based on these concept, TF3’s briefs will include:

  • policies for a decarbonised and climate resilient society,
  • resource efficiency and a circular economy at multiple levels,
  • revitalising local economies in harmony with nature, and
  • promoting renewable energy.

Policy Briefs and Proposals in Preparation

Policy proposal 1: Constructing inclusive, prosperous and sustainable future

This proposal emphasises the importance of inclusive and prosperous aspect of sustainable future underpinned by technological and social innovations. Investment in sustainable energy sources, clean energy technologies and infrastructure brings opportunities for technological and social innovation, sustainable and inclusive growth, competitiveness, and job creation. Policy recommendations may include the followings:

  • Establish a scheme that quantitatively predicts future technological and social innovation and provides necessary information, such as timing and scale, of infrastructure investment for low-carbon society, accelerate the technology transfer speed, and introduce appropriate technology systems through international cooperation.

Policy proposal 2: A decarbonised and climate resilient society

Decarbonisation required by the Paris Agreement calls for substantial mitigation actions at all levels. This proposal will address this issue at international level (rules under the Paris Agreement), at individual level (decarbonised life style), and in terms of market rule (carbon pricing) and technological innovations. In addition, the importance of climate fragility and climate security is introduced in the context of climate resilient society will be discussed. Policy recommendations may include the followings:

  • Scale up the efforts to assist developing countries in providing tailored climate risk information, and capacity building for policy and project formulation in order to strengthen the social infrastructure and social capital through the combination of scientific knowledge and socioeconomic activities in developing counties. In this regard, it is important to develop threshold indicator of natural disasters for each developing country capacity and preparedness to cope with natural disasters especially those closely related to extreme weather and the accurate and sophisticated analytical tool of vulnerability assessment.
  • Design the Transparency Framework such that the PDCA-cycle of domestic actions will be materialised. In addition, the reporting guidelines for Parties can be designed to enhance their capacities through drafting the biennial transparency report. Sharing experiences and lessons through the biennial transparency reports among Parties with similar situation should be strengthened by suitable analyses of applicability conditions by the country.
  • Recognise recent trend of positive introduction of carbon pricing (carbon tax and ETS) and of voluntary introduction of internal carbon price by individual companies, promote internationally coordinated carbon market (such as linking regional ETS), and take supporting measures for individual companies to introduce internal carbon price. To fully utilise price signal effect without causing excessive economic shocks, carbon price must be sufficiently high with clear announcement of pricing schedule with gradual price escalation.
  • Examine lifestyle carbon footprints and reduce it towards the level of well below 3 t/cap by 2030 and 1 t/cap by 2050. Governments and businesses of G20 should take a lead in enabling decarbonized lifestyles of citizens, with more research and development of common methodology and pathways on lifestyle carbon footprints, and with strategic investment and planning for decarbonizing provision systems and infrastructure.

Policy proposal 3: Resource efficiency and a circular economy at multiple levels

This proposal introduces actions towards resource efficiency improvement and establishment of circular economy at various levels. It also discusses appropriate circulation system of plastics to address marine plastic waste problem. Policy recommendations may include the followings:

  • Establish robust circular economy policies which covers whole life cycle of materials and products to maximise potential of effective utilisation of used materials and encourage less consuming type of business model. Economic instruments to incentivize circular economy acceleration have high potential for such policies.
  • Identify the characteristic of product-service bundle that would reduce resource throughputs in each region, promote the expansion of “right bundle for the right place”, and encourage product design and development for sharing; for instance, improve durability, integrate universal design, and facilitate concurrent use, based on accumulated consumption pattern data.

Policy proposal 4: Revitalising local economies utilising local resources

Local areas are connected to the national and the global market, for instance these areas buy energy, infrastructure, etc. from outside, and it makes the local society, economy, and also natural environment became vulnerable. This proposal highlights the way to revitalise local economies utilising local natural resources and improving the value of land as a stock. Policy recommendations may include the followings:

  • Promote community-based renewable energy development with capacity development in project operation and innovative financing and payment to facilitate installation and operation of renewables.
  • Formulate the platform of multi-stakeholder dialogues (exchanging of knowledge, money, etc.) for a multi-layered circulation of resources (biomass and some of food, for instance), based on analysis of the local conditions including the economic structures, socioeconomic challenges and opportunities, and available resources. Such a multi-layered circulation goes beyond the administrative boundaries and need the active collaboration of and co-creation by many stakeholders with different expertise.
  • Apply new wealth measurement in stock value to improve policy decision of local level resource allocation.

Policy Briefs