Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward Passes Ordinance to Alleviate Global Warming

On December 25, 2007, the assembly in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, one of the 23 wards comprising Metropolitan Tokyo, passed the Chiyoda Global Warming Solutions Ordinance, which had long been under discussion, and it took effect on January 1, 2008. This ordinance sets the toughest target in Japan, stipulating that by 2020, the ward’s total emissions of CO2, a greenhouse gas, shall be reduced by 25 percent from 1990 levels.

Chiyoda Ward is home to the headquarters of many of Japan’s leading companies, as well as government and other public offices, which are the main sources of CO2 emissions in the ward. The ordinance, therefore, requires companies, public agencies, other organizations and personal businesses above a certain size to provide their employees and officers with environmental education in order to encourage them to become more environmentally conscious. The ordinance also promotes the use of renewable energy.

Furthermore, the ordinance requires constructers that plan to build, extend and reconstruct new buildings above a certain size to consult with the ward on energy-saving measures beforehand. Should the appropriate measures not be taken, the constructers could be asked to bear additional expenses.

The preamble of the ordinance, which was drafted by junior high school students in the ward, is written in conversational style, saying, “We hope that Chiyoda Ward will become a center for environmental measures as well as the economy.” The objective is that the ward will take the initiative in protecting the environment and expand its activities to surrounding areas and throughout the nation. The ward will start creating a mechanism by which citizens, companies, public agencies, other organizations and personal businesses can easily promote pro-environmental behavior, based on the Chiyoda Eco System, the Ward’s simple environmental management system.

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