EPA Announces Spectral Sensor Solutions of Albuquerque Among Recipients of Over $3 Million in Funding to Small Businesses to Develop Environmental Technologies

WASHINGTON – On September 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Michael S. Regan and Minister of the Environment, Japan Nishimura Akihiro met in Tokyo, Japan for a high-level bilateral dialogue. The ministers met to discuss accomplishments, including the historic climate investments from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and priorities for continued international, regional, and bilateral cooperation on environmental protection.

Climate Change and Decarbonization

  • The Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOE) and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognize the importance of implementation of the Paris Agreement on strengthening global response to the threat of climate change. As documented in the U.S.-Japan Climate Partnership, both countries are committed to taking ambitious steps to lead domestic climate efforts, accelerate international climate action, promote climate transparency, and achieve 2050 net zero goals and aligned 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
  • An enhanced transparency framework is the foundation for implementation of the Paris Agreement, designed to build trust and confidence that all countries are contributing their share to the global effort. MOE and EPA will continue to cooperate in providing capacity building support to Asian countries including through the Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Inventories in Asia and EPA’s Transparency Accelerator. The enhancement of monitoring, reporting, and verification for developing countries contributes to their assessment of progress towards NDCs, development and implementation of effective greenhouse gas emission reduction measures, and development of biennial transparency reports including Article 6 reporting.
  • Subnational actors are vital in leading efforts towards decarbonization. MOE and the Office of Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, United States of America, joined by EPA, launched the “Global Subnational Zero Carbon Promotion Initiative” at COP26. Both participate in Zero Carbon City International Forums to highlight the efforts that state, city, and local governments are taking to reach zero carbon goals. Together MOE and EPA promote action globally to support and accelerate subnational climate action. While in Japan, the EPA Administrator visited a model city that is proactively working towards decarbonization and has received funding from MOE to achieve these goals.

  • MOE and EPA are taking steps to promote lifecycle management of fluorocarbons, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The agencies continue to share approaches to managing fluorocarbons and best practices for sustainably managing these compounds with each other and the global community.
  • The United States and Japan are among the initial countries that participated in the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) and the GMP Energy Pathway to reduce global methane emissions. In addition, MOE and EPA will continue to promote domestic policies and international cooperation to reduce methane emissions in the waste sector including through highlighting the issues and facilitating relevant actions at national and international levels.
  • MOE and EPA work closely with the United Nations Global Adaptation Network (GAN) and Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities (EPIC) in hosting training workshops in cities in the Asia-Pacific region and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Marine Litter and Circular Economy

  • MOE and EPA are continually aligned on international environmental policy matters including demonstrating leadership on ocean plastic pollution and circular economy matters. This alignment brings us closer to achieving the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision which was shared under the Japan G20 presidency in 2019 and aims to reduce additional plastic pollution to zero by 2050. We are jointly committed to the negotiation of a global agreement on plastic pollution that will address the full lifecycle of plastic through an ambitious, innovative, country-driven approach.
  • Japan is part of the United States OECD Environmental Performance Review Team that is assessing multi-country progress, policies, and best practices towards addressing marine litter with a focus on linkages to environmental justice. Through this process, MOE and EPA are working with Indonesia and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to analyze policies and enhance peer-to-peer learning including through workshops, roundtables, participation in review missions to the United States, and preparation of a report to discuss review findings.
  • Principles of circular economy overlap with properly managing waste streams including keeping plastic out of our oceans, promoting resource efficiency, and addressing source reduction. MOE and EPA are committed to realizing circular economy, marine litter, and waste reduction goals through domestic strategies and multilateral cooperation including through the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency and the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue.

Chemical Management

  • MOE and EPA underscore our joint commitment to continuing cooperation for effective implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury, participation in the Global Mercury Partnership, and strengthening mercury monitoring capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • MOE and EPA regularly share information on chemical management policy and approaches. MOE and EPA recognize the importance of PFAS management and will continue cooperation to deepen scientific knowledge in relation to regulations and countermeasures for PFAS.

Environmental Education and Youth

  • MOE and EPA are committed to promoting and enhancing environmental education. Together with international partners we participate in the Global Environmental Education Partnership to promote and develop environmental education and sustainable development goals.
  • Since the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, MOE and EPA have worked together to support and assist recovery and revitalization in Fukushima, learn from the disaster, and take actions to prevent nuclear incidents. During this visit, the EPA Administrator met with Asaka high school students that work with the Dream Support Fukushima organization to share an understanding of issues including radiation and environmental restoration with peers from across Japan and internationally. This youth program received Japan’s Minister of the Environment Award in 2021.
  • EPA and MOE regularly share information on a range of issues that protect young people and their communities, human health, and the environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.