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G8 Toyako Summit Commemoration International Symposium on “Low Carbon Society: Towards its Realization with Collaboration of Actors”
Following the Toyako Summit held in July 2008, GEC co-hosted a symposium with IETC on 9 September to discuss ways for government, industry and academia to work together towards the realization of a “low carbon society”.

The symposium's keynote speech was presented by Prof. Davidson, Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in which he introduced the fi ndings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and stated that climate change was not simply an environmental issue but also a development issue in that by changing the nature of our development, we can mitigate climate change but in order to do so, we must first achieve synergy and avoid friction between climate change and sustainable development.

Mr. Moriya of the Council for Global Environment, Minister's Secretariat, Ministry of the Environment, Japan, outlined the successes of the Toyako Summit, explained the “Action Plan for Achieving a Low-Carbon Society” and argued that clearly-defined objectives needed to be established along with mechanisms for spreading technology in order to realize a low carbon society. Dr. Nishioka, Senior Visiting Researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies, presented the results of the Institute’s research in the form of “A Dozen Actions Towards Low-Carbon Societies” in which he indicated both the necessity and potential for cutting demand-side energy consumption to achieve low carbon societies. Mr. Chandak, Offi cer-in-Charge, UNEP IETC, explained UNEP’s climate change strategy, priority of UNEP's climate change programme and introduced the UNEP publication entitled “Kick the Habit”.

In the panel discussion, Mr. Izuma, the General Manager of the Technology Planning Department at Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.; Mr. Morimoto, Group General Manager of the Sharp Corporation’s Environmental Protection Group; and Ms. Asaoka, President of the Kiko Network each presented initiatives from the perspectives of the energy industry, manufacturers of energycreating and energy-saving products and citizens & NGOs respectively. These presentations were then discussed by the keynote speaker and all of the presenters. The moderator Dr. Nishioka summarized the panel discussion by stating that the creation of a low carbon society would involve the modification of social mechanisms and therefore lead to discord and take time to implement so it is necessary to gradually change society with measures towards a low carbon society beginning today. This symposium held in Osaka provided a launching point for Japan's debate on a low carbon society.

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