Net-Zero by 2050: UK and Japan Efforts to Address Climate Change  

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In the fourth event of this online series organized in collaboration with Chatham House and the Embassy of Japan in the UK, the speakers examine efforts by the UK and Japan to address climate change.


Otaka Junichirō, Director, Climate Change Division, International Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Peter Betts CB CBE, Strategic Advisor to the Cabinet Office on COP26; Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Programme, Chatham House


Ana Yang, Acting Executive Director, Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy, Chatham House

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement over five years ago, there has been growing demand for rapid and ambitious implementation of climate mitigation, adaptation, and finance strategies.

Although the UK and Japan have both announced that they will aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it is widely recognized that there is a huge need for international action and collaboration to limit the global temperature rise in line with the Paris Agreement.

Looking ahead to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), the speakers outline the latest efforts of the UK and Japan in tackling climate change.

  • How might the UK and Japan aim to reach their net-zero and ambitious 2030 targets?
  • How can the UK drive the global transformation needed through its COP Presidency role?
  • Is there scope for the UK and Japan to promote such changes through bilateral and multilateral cooperation?

This event is held in partnership with Chatham House and the Embassy of Japan in the UK

About the speakers

Otaka Junichirō was appointed as Director for Climate Change Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, in August 2020. Prior to his appointment, he served in such areas as international science cooperation, information safeguarding, arms control/disarmament, European affairs, defence policy, press affairs and Japan-US economic relations. He has also served as the Permanent Mission of Japan in Geneva, Switzerland from 2011 to 2014, the Embassy of Japan in Warsaw, Poland from 2009 to 2011, and the Embassy of Japan in Canberra, Australia from 1998 to 2000.

Peter Betts became an associate fellow of Chatham House in November 2018. Before joining, he was a UK civil servant for nearly 35 years, working in a wide range of government departments. Among his current roles, he is currently an expert adviser to the UK Climate Change Committee, and a strategic advisor to the Cabinet Office on COP26. From 2008 until 2018, Peter was the director responsible for international climate policy, leading on the UNFCCC negotiations (where he was EU lead negotiator for six years up to 2016) and bilateral engagement, and was responsible for an official development assistance programme worth around £3bn. From 2016 he was also responsible for international energy.

Ana Yang is Acting Executive Director at Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy at Chatham House. Her area of research is land use and food system transition from the perspective of complex system change. Prior to Chatham House, Ana worked at the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, where she led the land use and finance workstream of the Climate Change Programme. Between 2005 to 2008, she was the Executive Director of FSC Brazil’s Forest Stewardship Initiative and later joined the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Sustainable Business Advisory team to advise companies and investors on impact investments in the Amazon. Ana is now chair of the board of Instituto Clima e Sociedade (iCS), a grant making organisation based in Brazil with focus on climate change and development.

This event is introduced by Japan House London Director General, Mr Michael Houlihan.