Takashi Hattori spent December 2012 through February 2013 at RFF, in between completing his role as director for climate change at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry and starting his new position as head of the Environment and Climate Change Unit at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in March 2013. He sat down with Resources as an independent expert to discuss his experiences with climate policy negotiations, both internationally and within Japan.
Resources: Takashi, why did you choose to get involved in the issue of climate change?
Takashi Hattori: When I was an undergraduate, I participated in the 20th anniversary Earth Day event in New York. I knew then that I wanted to do something about this global issue. Since then, within the government of Japan, I’ve had various opportunities to work on the issue, and I’ve realized that government cannot do everything. Industries, people, research communities, local governments—they all play a role in this issue.
Resources: You’ve been part of Japan’s team responsible for international climate negotiations through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. What do you think is necessary to move the international negotiations forward?
Hattori: I first attended the Kyoto Conference (COP3) in 1997, which set the Kyoto Protocol. It was a moment when we internationally agreed to do more to address climate change. Since then, the world has changed rapidly. Many countries—both developed and developing—have made efforts to work on climate change actions. But we need to work further.
Last year we started the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform, which is negotiating the future framework beyond 2020. This is a forum for bringing many new ideas, where all countries can work together to further the climate issue. We need creative thinking to develop a new structure and new elements for international climate actions.
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