9th Annual Meeting of the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) 2022 Held

October 7, 2022

On October 5 and 6, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) held the 9th annual meeting of the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF) 2022 in a hybrid format. With “Low-Carbon Innovation in a Time of Crises” as the main theme, the forum brought together industry, government, and academia experts from all around the world to discuss action to spur on the creation of innovation toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Around 1,600 people from 87 countries and regions registered to attend.

Overview of the conference

An international platform established in 2014 on Japan’s initiative, ICEF invites experts and leaders in different fields from all over the world in order to promote discussion and cooperation between academia, industry, and government officials, with the aim of solving climate change issues through energy and environment-related innovation.

The 9th meeting was held in a hybrid format over two days (October 5 and 6) as part of Tokyo GX Week, which is an intensive series of international conferences related to energy and the environment held with a view toward achieving GX (green transformation).

Mr. Nishimura Yasutoshi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, delivered a video message to the meeting in which he stated that in order to achieve carbon neutrality, it will be essential to spur on transitions that take into account the circumstances of each country and leave no one behind. He also said that innovation is the key to solving the problems facing the world amid various difficulties, and expressed his hopes for active participation in the discussions by people from the younger generations, who will be leading society in 2050.

The forum saw global leaders in energy and environment-related fields take the stage in 15 sessions. Among them were the Honorable Rahm Emanuel, Ambassador of the United States to Japan; Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA); Mr. Francesco La Camera, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); and Dr. Gerd Müller, Director General of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In each plenary and technology session, people from the younger generations (under the age of 35) participated in the discussions. This year, the main theme was “Low-Carbon Innovation in a Time of Crises,” and the focus was on action to spur on the creation of innovation to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The topics discussed included policy innovation, carbon dioxide removal technologies, sustainable nuclear systems, and innovation that will support the sustainable value chain of critical metals and minerals.

Based on the series of discussions, a statement was released by the ICEF Steering Committee, along with draft/overview of roadmaps recommending approaches and methods for the major innovative technologies that will contribute in the short and long terms to achieving carbon neutrality. The roadmaps will be edited to reflect public comments, then officially announced at COP27 (the 27th UN Climate Change Conference) in Egypt in November 2022. A booklet to commemorate the creation of the 10th roadmap has also been created.