Climate Change Public Outreach

Geographical location:

Asia/Pacific > East Asia > Japan

Public outreach in Tokyo. Japan.
© WWF Japan

Summary

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a new assessment report on climate change in 2007. This report highlights the ongoing serious impacts of climate change. By presenting such scientific assessments, easy to understand for the public, this project aims to draw attention toward the urgency of tackling the climate change issue.

Through public outreach activities, this project aims to make the wider public share a sense of crisis that global warming is already taking place and cannot be stopped unless effective measures are taken now. It also helps the public recognize that economic means such as the domestic emission trading scheme must be included in the Japanese climate change policy.

Background

The global temperature has risen by 0.8 degree Celsius in the past 100 years and its impacts have been already recognized. Even if the emission level is maintained at the present level the temperature will still rise by another 0.6 degree. The climate experts forecast that if the temperature rise stays below 2 degrees Celsius the worst scenario could still be avoided.

With the Kyoto Protocol, Japan promised to reduce 6% of its emissions compared to the 1990 level. However, not only Japan failed to reduce its emissions, but it increased its emissions by 8% in 2005. 2007 is an important year for Japan, because it is one year before the first commitment period (2008 to 2012) and it is the review year of the Kyoto Protocol Target Achievement Plan, which represents Japan’s main climate change policy. So the government, the industry sector as well as the public need to be aware that an effective and decisive economic policy should be adopted within the Japanese climate change policy.

Objectives

- Get broad support from the public that the temperature increase must stay below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial revolution.

- Make the public ready to support the implementation of a strong and decisive policy such as the emission trading scheme for the first commitment period that starts in 2008.

- Lobby the government and the industry sector for the implementation of the domestic emission trading scheme.

Solution

- Disseminate WWF’s global warming information regularly and continuously through television weather forecast programmes by collaborating with the Weather Caster Network (WCN).

- Develop regular output routes through which WWF’s information is disseminated.

- Inform a wider audience by developing environmental columns in non-conservation magazines.

Achievement

By March 2007

- Well succeeded in conveying a message that global warming is impending and close to everybody.

- 2006 FIFA World Cup: A news piece presented by WWF - that the games offset the emission by the Gold Standard Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) - raised interest among various stakeholders. WWF received massive inquiries from the congressmen as well as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The issue was developed into a discussion at the national congress.

- Polar Bear Tracking of the WWF Arctic Programme: Japan was entrusted to name the 2 bears. Through this naming campaign the public was informed that polar bears are the most affected endangered species and that global warming is serious. National Geographic made it a TV programme and broadcasted it for one month.

- Provided relevant information to the Weather Caster Network.

By March 2008

- Symposium “Climate Change Issue witnessed by Meteorologists”: Co-organized the symposium with the British Embassy in Japan. It was attended by more than 100 people from the business society, administrations and WWF. Interviewed by 8 newspaper and magazine companies.

- IPCC General Meeting: Collaborated with other WWF staff to have important information incorporated in the summary of the 4th Evaluation Report.

- IPCC Summary Report: Produced 10,000 copies of the report under collaboration with other national NGOs.

By March 2009

- Succeeded in raising Japanese public awareness on the danger of climate change by giving the severe impacts of climate change a human face. We have around 9000 page view each month for this Climate Witness corner.

- Media attention to the Japanese new climate witnesses. We had seven interviews from major media to our new climate witness during 2008.

- Helped to communicate WWF’s message (aiming for influencing Prime Minister Fukuda) for the G8 Toyako summit effectively through media. Around 30 journalists turned up for our press conference of this announcement of the launch of Climate Witness website, and reported on our WWF message to Prime Minister Fukuda.

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