City-to-City Cooperation Spreads to Business Partnerships
City-to-City Cooperation Spreads to Business Partnerships

Announcing the Bangkok Energy Action Plan

Mayor Yamanaka at podium, presenting on "Decarbonization through Partnerships with Citizens, Businesses, and Asian Cities."

Mayor Yamanaka delivers Keynote Speech

Mayor Yamanaka presenting in front of a crowd at the Thailand workshop

Workshop

During a co-organized workshop in Thailand, Yokohama Mayor Yamanaka and Bangkok Mayor Chadchart set forth a new climate plan and paths for collaboration.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN, June 25, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ — On June 21, 2024, the City of Yokohama and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration held a workshop titled “Net Zero Emissions Business Opportunity under Bangkok-Yokohama City-to-City Collaboration Program,” co-organized by the Ministry of Environment, Japan, and Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center, Japan (OECC). Takeharu Yamanaka, Mayor of Yokohama; Chadchart Sittipunt, Governor of Bangkok; Masato Otaka, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Thailand; Yutaka Matsuzawa, Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Japan; and many Japanese and Thai companies gathered to discuss climate policies and business solutions.

With the collaboration of 44 global cities and institutions in Yokohama last year, Mayor Yamanaka, together with Governor Chadchart, jointly declared a strong partnership among Asian cities for decarbonization. The mayor and the governor, both of whom are members of OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth, reunited in Bangkok this time to accelerate the momentum and confirm their further collaboration towards decarbonization in Asia.

Bangkok Energy Action Plan and City-to-City Cooperation

At the workshop, Governor Chadchart announced the “Bangkok Energy Action Plan,” developed as part of the city-to-city collaboration program between Yokohama and Bangkok. The Plan describes decarbonizing actions targeting the energy and transportation sectors, which account for nearly 90% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Bangkok. Since signing a memorandum of understanding on technical cooperation for sustainable urban development in 2013, Yokohama and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) have shared knowledge through more than twenty mutual visits between officials from the City of Yokohama and the BMA. Yokohama’s knowledge—such as concept plans for Energy Service Company (ESCO) projects which enable energy conservation and reduced maintenance costs while utilizing private-sector expertise in the renovation of public buildings, and the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) which promotes proactive and environment-friendly investment by building owners—was reflected in the “Bangkok Master Plan on Climate Change ” and now the “Energy Action Plan”. Furthermore, many local practices, such as folding garbage collecting stations and bike sharing, have been transplanted in Bangkok through the observations by BMA officials who participated in training programs in Japan.

Governor Chadchart indicated his drive for an active information exchange with Yokohama and his hopes that, due to Yokohama’s experience in various fields like waste separation, local EV introduction, and rooftop solar panel installation, this partnership and the knowledge that Bangkok could gain would be the quickest path to solutions that would enable the successful implementation of the Energy Action Plan.

Ties between local governments lead to business partnerships

The collaboration between the City of Yokohama and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is not limited to technical cooperation, such as assisting policy planning and capacity building. In order to address various urban challenges, including the climate crisis; not only administrative expertise, but also solutions from the private sector are needed. To this end, the City of Yokohama and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have created opportunities for collaboration with businesses, including surveys on the introduction of low/zero carbon technologies to public and private facilities, and business matching with more than 150 Japanese and Thai companies participating to date. One example is the installation of solar power generation systems in private factories in Thailand, through the Financing Program for JCM (Joint Crediting Mechanism) of the Ministry of the Environment.

At this workshop, Macnica, a private company headquartered in Yokohama, Japan; and SENA Development, a real estate developer in Bangkok, Thailand; presented their efforts towards the first demonstration test in Thailand of perovskite solar cells, which are expected to become the next generation of solar cells, as an example of business-to-business collaboration. Macnica and SENA met at a business networking opportunity held in Yokohama against the backdrop of city-to-city partnership between the Yokohama and the BMA, which led to this collaboration. In the corporate pitch session on the afternoon of the 21st, 12 Japanese and Thai companies presented their decarbonization solutions, including energy-saving technologies for buildings, energy-saving materials, high-efficiency sewage treatment technologies, and decarbonization management tools, and engaged in active business exchanges among participants. It is hoped that this workshop will lead to new business partnerships.

Cities are the entities that connect citizens and companies, and have an important role to play, especially in combating climate change. Emphasizing this importance and recognizing that private companies will also be a key provider of solutions towards decarbonization and successful climate action, Mayor Yamanaka expressed his enthusiasm for promoting business matching between companies in Yokohama and Thailand.

In 2022, the City of Yokohama established a representative office inside the Thai Ministry of Industry to support Yokohama companies developing businesses in Thailand and beyond.

Towards GREEN×EXPO

In 2027 the GREEN×EXPO 2027, a world expo focusing on “green” initiatives will be held in Yokohama. The upcoming expo will be held in an important stepping stone year towards Yokohama’s goal to halve carbon output by 2030 compared to 2013, and become completely carbon neutral by 2050. During the workshop with Bangkok, Mayor Yamanaka declared his commitment to achieving a sustainable future where nature, people, and society coexist through green innovation and nature-based solutions. He also invited the Governor of Bangkok and attendees of the workshop to participate in GREEN×EXPO 2027 in Yokohama.

There are other ways the City of Yokohama has been engaged with collaborating with other international cities as well. In the process of facing and overcoming various urban challenges such as rapid urbanization and population growth over the past decades, the City of Yokohama has accumulated expertise in urban management and infrastructure development. Leveraging Yokohama’s resources and technologies through public-private partnerships, the City of Yokohama is actively disseminating its unique knowledge through the Y-PORT Project, an international technical cooperation project, to support other cities around world that are currently facing similar urbanization issues.

Toshikazu Yazawa
City of Yokohama
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Article originally published on www.einpresswire.com as City-to-City Cooperation Spreads to Business Partnerships