As temperatures continue to rise and weather patterns become more extreme, global ecosystems have become dangerously strained – threatening both precious biodiversity and human civilization. As global superpowers, the United States and Japan are well-positioned to galvanize the fight against climate change and spearhead sustainable business practices. The U.S.-Japan Council is committed to protecting our planet. By bringing together climate experts, business leaders, government officials and the next generation, we instigate critical conversations and key dialogues that identify challenges and promote innovative solutions for a greener future.

Our Climate & Sustainability Initiative is designed to put the spotlight on the climate crisis. Through virtual and in-person events and activities, we challenge bilateral leaders and change-makers to share strategies and take action.

The USJC Climate & Sustainability Initiative is supported by the initiative’s Founding Strategic Partner, Amazon.

Featured Events

On October 27, USJC convened its first in-person Sustainability Roundtable, gathering over 50 Japanese and American sustainability leaders from the corporate, finance, non-profit, academia and government sectors. This gathering was made possible by the generous anchor funding from the Climate & Sustainability Initiative Founding Strategic Partner, Amazon. 

The meeting included senior executives, next generation leaders, and thought leaders and was held under Chatham House rules. Speakers from Amazon, Salesforce, Hitachi, Japan Airlines, and Toyota shared roadmaps and lessons for their peers; representatives from the U.S. and Japanese governments outlined key agenda items for the future. The group was fortunate to close the event with a fascinating presentation by the former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr. TANAKA Nobuo.  

Read more here.

On August 29, 2022, the U.S.-Japan Council hosted a webinar titled, “U.S.-Japan Climate Partnership: Increasing the Availability of Affordable Clean Energy.” This dialogue brought together multi-sector leaders to offer inspiration and practical insights into how to bridge the gap in the United States and Japan between demand and supply of low-cost renewable energy through effective engagement of key stakeholders. Representatives from the U.S. and Japanese governments provided special remarks around each administration’s policy plans, while we heard from Amazon and USJC (President & CEO, Suzanne Basalla) about private and multi-sector initiatives to work with government and industry leaders to achieve sustainability goals.

The main event of the webinar was a dialogue with utility and energy company representatives. First we heard a special message from Governor UCHIBORI Masao of Fukushima Prefecture, who enthusiastically talked about decarbonization efforts in the prefecture and the numerous public-private joint development projects driving these efforts. During the live panel discussion, Scott Seu, CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, discussed their work to introduce renewable energy in Hawaii and the regulatory processes that are driving incentives to change the market. MATSUO Yusuke, Executive Director of the Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (JCLP), discussed numerous issues around the supply and demand of renewable energy in Japan and the positive impact of JCLP’s policy advocacy efforts. The dialogue was moderated by USJC Council Leader Aya Kameda, General Manager of Shell Energy Japan.

Read more here.

On August 31, 2021 (U.S.) and September 1, 2021 (Japan), the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) hosted the first 2021 Bilateral Boardroom, “U.S.-Japan Leadership in Addressing the Climate Crisis,” featuring U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and Japan’s Minister of the Environment, KOIZUMI Shinjiro. Suzanne Basalla, USJC President and CEO, moderated the dialogue between the two world leaders focusing on various insights around individual and joint efforts at combating climate change. The discussion was recorded on August 24, one week prior to Secretary Kerry’s planned visit to Tokyo. 

Read more here.

On January 27, 2021, the U.S.-Japan Council held its first installment of the “Japan Perspectives” webinar series with a climate-related discussion featuring Christine Harada (Climate & Impact Investor; Executive Council, Clean Energy for Biden) and Ken Koyama, Ph.D. (Senior Managing Director, Chief Economist, Strategy Research Unit, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ)). Attendees tuned in for this virtual event in which Ms. Harada and Dr. Koyama discussed key challenges to energy, climate and environmental sustainability and how the Biden and Suga administrations are preparing and taking action to address them through policy measures and initiatives. Following the program, an “after-session” was held for USJC members, sponsors and other invited guests to discuss the dialogue and network with each other and the speakers. 

Read more here.

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