The European Union (EU) and Japan announced their commitment to accelerate the transition of both economies towards becoming climate-neutral, circular, and resource-efficient in the coming three decades. 

The Green Alliance agreement was finalized on May 27, 2021 during the EU-Japan Summit, where the two parties agreed to strengthen cooperation on protecting the environment, conserving biodiversity, and fighting climate change.

Welcoming the historic partnership, the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans said, “This is the EU’s first Green Alliance. It is a true milestone in our efforts to create a global coalition for net zero by the middle of the century. Japan and the EU will increase their cooperation so that our combined efforts bring us closer to our goal of living up to the commitment made under the Paris agreement. Together Japan and the EU can further increase a global momentum that is gathering pace. If we pull together, net-zero can be achieved.

Both the EU and Japan share the aim of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. Through the Green Alliance, they will be working together to ensure a successful outcome to COP26 and consensus on a realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework at COP15.

The Green Alliance will focus on five priority areas, namely:

  • Pursuing a cost-effective, safe and sustainable energy transition by adopting low-carbon technologies, including renewable energy, renewable hydrogen, energy storage, as well as carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
  • Strengthening environmental protection by promoting more sustainable, circular practices in production and consumption and contributing to the global goal of protecting at least 30% of both land and sea to conserve biodiversity.
  • Strengthening cooperation and know-how exchange on regulatory and business-related topics to drive global uptake of low-carbon technologies and environmental solutions that will accelerate the global transition to climate-neutral economies.
  • Consolidating existing collaboration on research and development in the areas of decarbonization, renewable energy, and bioeconomy.
  • Maintaining both parties’ leadership on international sustainable finance to help converge on a definition of sustainable investments and ensure consistency and transparency about sustainability-related disclosures.

Last but not least, the EU and Japan have agreed to work together closely to promote cooperation on climate action in developing countries. The collaboration will facilitate the transition to climate-neutral and resilient societies, including through phasing out government support for carbon-intensive fossil fuel energy, promoting international access to renewable energy, the exchange of information on mitigation and adaptation efforts, and support in the deployment of safe and sustainable low-carbon technologies.

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