Wednesday, December 1

Government decides climate change adaptation bill by Cabinet

On the 20th, the government said that the effects of climate change have already become apparent and may become more serious in the future. Was decided by the Cabinet. It is characterized by clarifying the roles played by local governments and businesses in addition to the national government. In addition to requesting the national government to formulate a “climate change adaptation plan,” it also stipulates that local governments should proceed with the formulation of a “regional climate change adaptation plan” according to the local situation as an “obligation to make efforts.”

While international efforts are currently underway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the importance of “adaptation measures” has been pointed out at home and abroad as the effects of climate change will be unavoidable in the future. In response to this, the Ministry of the Environment took the lead in creating the “Climate Change Adaptation Bill” and the relevant ministries cooperated.

The four pillars of the bill are “comprehensive promotion of adaptation,” “improvement of information infrastructure,” “strengthening of adaptation in the region,” and “international expansion of adaptation.” As a “comprehensive promotion of adaptation,” the government is obliged to formulate a “climate change adaptation plan” and to evaluate the effects of climate change on the Ministry of the Environment approximately every five years. The government has already formulated the plan (Cabinet decision on November 27, 2015), but the plan will be reviewed based on the results of this impact assessment.

The National Institute for Environmental Studies (Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) has been positioned as a national-level base for collecting and providing information on the effects and adaptation of climate change as “improvement of information infrastructure”. As for “strengthening adaptation in the region,” we request prefectures and municipalities to make efforts to function as a “regional climate change adaptation center” that collects and provides information on climate change impacts and adaptation. The effects of climate change and adaptation measures differ from region to region, and the region is also required to take action to control damage. In addition, as “international expansion of adaptation, etc.”, we are promoting international cooperation on adaptation, and requesting business operators to promote “adaptation business” that contributes to adaptation to climate change.

The Ministry of the Environment stated in the outline explanation of the bill that “Japan’s average annual temperature is rising at a rate of 1.19 degrees per 100 years. It is expected to rise further in the future.” In addition, as the effects of climate change, examples of crop damage such as “white immature graining of paddy rice” in which rice becomes cloudy and “mandarin orange dermatosis” in which orange peels float were mentioned. In addition to the effects on the ecosystem such as coral bleaching that is already progressing, it also exemplifies the possibility that the number of patients with strong typhoons and heat stroke will increase in the future.

In addition, the ministry cites the development and dissemination of high temperature resistant crop varieties, the development of fishing grounds in response to changes in the distribution area of ​​fish, the development of embankments and flood control equipment, and the promotion of hazard map creation as specific examples of adaptation measures. ..

Photo Coral bleaching (from the Ministry of the Environment / Ministry of the Environment's Photo Coral bleaching (from the Ministry of the Environment / Ministry of the Environment’s “Climate Change Adaptation Bill Overview”)