Kobe City (Japan), Declare a Climate Emergency

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We are a group of children and youth in Kobe tackling climate change. Despite feeling helpless about the climate crisis, they are speaking out around the world through demonstrations and such petitions. We hope to be able to lead healthy and fulfilling lives in a stable climate in the future. In hopes that Kobe City will show its willingness to address climate change issues seriously, we have decided to make this petition as citizens speaking for the young people and generations to come.

In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in damages caused by extreme weather events in Japan. In July 2018, all parts of western Japan were hit by record heavy rains, causing landslides in Kobe City while Typhoon Jebi caused severe damage to the port facilities at Kobe Port. In addition, we continue to experience record-warm winters, leading to a lack of snow.

According to the German environmental think tank "German Watch", Japan was the country most affected by weather disasters in 2018. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) states that this increase is directly related to long-term trends of global warming.

As an environmental model city driving forth Japan’s environmental policies, Kobe has shown a strong intention to combat climate change. From this position, Kobe City prioritizes climate change countermeasures as an urgent issue and calls for the resolution of a “Climate Emergency Declaration '' in order to achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions.

The first Climate Emergency Declaration was put forward by the city of Darebin, Australia in December 2016. By the end of January 2020, it has been declared by 26 countries, and more than 1,300 councils, regions and municipalities. Iki City, Nagasaki Prefecture was the first in Japan to declare on September 25, 2019. In addition, around Kobe City, Akashi City announced its plan to adopt the Declaration on December 11, 2019.

[Petition items]
We seek a resolution on Climate Emergency Declaration, which includes:
1. Make Kobe citizens aware of the imminent climate crisis.
2. Develop and implement necessary promotion measures, including the substantial introduction of renewable energy, with the goal of “virtually zero” so that Kobe City's greenhouse gas emissions are consistent with the Paris Agreement.
3. Promote initiatives in cooperation with government agencies, related organizations, citizens, and companies.
4. Work to utilize the experience of Kobe from the natural disaster of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake to help victims of climate disasters.