Enhancing low-carbon development through international co-operation between cities in Japan and in Asian developing countries

Local governments play an important role in promoting low-carbon development; however their role could be significantly enhanced by greater international co-operation between cities. There are already a few networks or platforms for Asia-focused co-operation operated by Japanese cities. However, further consideration is still needed regarding the kinds of activities to be the focus of co-operation and ideas for how such networks or platforms will function. This paper will discuss several factors that should be taken into account when designing such networks or platforms, and it will recommend what kinds of activities might be appropriate for them to take up effectively. This paper proposes four potential kinds of activities that could be implemented among participating cities in an international intercity platform for Asian low-carbon development. The first is technical co-operation on low-carbon policies and practices, and the second is collaboration to promote low-carbon environment and energy business in developing Asia. The third is joint carbon credit projects, which might be considered once Japanese local governments are faced with mandatory emissions cap. The fourth activity is carbon offsetting, which could be considered when Japanese local governments are interested in promoting environmental education and awareness raising.