EU-Japan Partnership Commits to Paris Agreement, 2030 Agenda
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Under the new EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, the two countries will cooperate to promote the positive contribution of trade to transitioning to low GHG emission and climate-resilient development.

The EU and Japan will promote innovation, climate finance, sustainable energy technologies and energy efficiency in order to “reach a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century”.

The Agreement also recognizes the “importance of enhancing the contribution of trade and investment to the goal of sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions”.

17 July 2018: The EU and Japan have concluded the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), containing a comprehensive chapter on trade and sustainable development. By the Agreement, the two countries recognize the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and, for the first time, reaffirm their commitment to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change through “ambitious climate action.”

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, signed the EPA at the 25th EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo, Japan, on 17 July 2018. The Agreement is expected to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth and stimulate job creation.

In the EPA, the EU and Japan commit to “cooperate to promote the positive contribution of trade” to transitioning to low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-resilient development. The two countries undertake to work together to “take actions to address climate change towards achieving the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and the purpose of the Paris Agreement.” They agree to do so by reducing GHG emissions and promoting innovation, climate finance, sustainable energy technologies and energy efficiency in order to “reach a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century.”

A new committee will engage with civil society on implementation of EPA provisions relating to trade and sustainable development.

The Agreement also recognizes the “importance of enhancing the contribution of trade and investment to the goal of sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions” by, inter alia: facilitating trade and investment of particular relevance to climate change mitigation, such as those related to sustainable renewable energy and energy efficiency; promoting trade and investment in goods that contribute to enhanced social conditions and environmentally sound practices; and recognizing the importance of the principles relating to, among others, decent work for all.

Additionally, the EPA contains provisions relating to the role of trade and investment in ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, sustainable management of forests and trade in timber and timber products, and sustainable use of fisheries resources and sustainable aquaculture.

The Agreement also establishes the Committee on Trade and Sustainable Development responsible for, inter alia, monitoring and review of, and engaging with civil society on, implementation of its provisions relating to trade and sustainable development. [EU-Japan Summit Joint Statement] [EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement] [EPA Chapter 16 on Trade and Sustainable Development] [EU EPA Webpage] [EU Press Release]

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