GJETC focuses on intensified climate change

Berlin/Tokyo, September 14, 2021. The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC) has decided to further develop its study program. The background is the risks of increasing weather extremes and unabated climate change, but also the potential economic opportunities of a climate neutrality strategy. The more ambitious climate protection goals of countries such as the USA, China, the EU, Japan and Germany, as well as the agenda of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, make new focal points of the study program necessary. At its eleventh Council meeting, held in hybrid form in Berlin, the GJETC deliberated on the current situation and agreed on additional studies on decarbonization of industry, battery systems and long-term scenarios, among others.

“The year 2021 has so far been marked by severe weather anomalies that have been felt all over the world. Added to this are new scientific findings from the IPCC and the agenda now available for the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. The geopolitical environment has changed with a higher level of ambition from leading countries on climate change and the return of the US to the Paris Climate Agreement. That is why GJETC strategy and study program is rapidly increasing in importance,” explained new Japanese co-chair Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa. “New insights into the increasing risks of climate change, as well as the opportunities for a socio-ecological transformation toward climate neutrality, mean new scientific challenges regarding the goals and implementation steps of climate change policy. The GJETC will include related fundamental strategy issues in its planned German-Japanese scenario comparison,” Terazawa added.

Following the retirement of Prof. Masakazu Toyoda in July 2021, Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa has been appointed as the new Japanese co-chair of the GJETC. Tatsuya Terazawa has been CEO of the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEEJ) since July 2021, which has done research work for the Japanese Ministry of Economy (METI) for decades and has been a major supporter of the GJETC’s founding. Previously, Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa served as a Vice-Minister to several Japanese governments. He covered various responsibilities including industrial policy and energy security.

“With Prof. Tatsuya Terazawa, we have an outstanding expert on energy supply strategies as a new discussion and cooperation partner. I look forward to constructive work with him and am certain that together with the GJETC we will contribute to solution approaches for increased climate protection. At its core, this continues to be about finding scientifically robust pathways towards a low-risk energy system of the future as well as a just socio-ecological transformation. Ambitious climate protection is not an economic burden but increases competitiveness in the global lead markets for energy, environmental and climate protection technologies”, said the German co-chair of the GJETC, Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke.

Hennicke himself was awarded the “Order of the Rising Sun” by the Japanese government in May for his ongoing commitment to the GJETC. This is one of Japan’s highest honors for individuals who have made a significant contribution to Japanese culture and society. The official presentation of the Order took place following the GJETC Council meeting on September 13, 2021 at the Embassy of Japan in Berlin.