Peace Boat was honoured to join the Climate Reality Project as a partner organisation for the 43rd Climate Reality Leadership Community training held in Tokyo on October 2-3, 2019. Hosted by former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Laureate Al Gore, these days featured opportunities to learn directly from Mr Gore and field-leading experts about strategies for strengthening collective action on the climate crisis, through a series of presentations, panel discussions, and skill-building workshops focusing on the science of the climate crisis, ways for citizens and groups to communicate key climate-related concepts and issues to various stakeholders, and how citizens can support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A dozen Peace Boat staff members and many more former volunteers and partners joined 800 people from throughout Japan, from Okinawa to Hokkaido, for this incredible opportunity. The information and skills gained through participation will be put to use in various onboard education programmes, campaigns and advocacy, and in the field work including by the Peace Boat Disaster Relief Centre working on the ground to deal with the increase in severe natural disasters and weather abnormalities affecting the Japanese archipelago. The delegation was joining around 800 other participants from Japan, including students, civil society, and all corners of the corporate world.
Much like the participants, the presenters similarly hailed from all across the spectrum ranging from climate activists such as Hirata Kimiko of Kiko Network, policy researchers like Ohno Teruyuki of the Renewable Energy Institute, and business leaders like Tsujii Takayuki of Patagaonia Japan, providing insight on the myriad effects of climate change, and the solutions each sector of society has to offer. Peace Boat Founder and Director Yoshioka Tatsuya also took to the stage, facilitating the final discussion on Change Agents for Climate Action. Together with Aizawa Hirofumi Aizawa (Director, Global Warming Countermeasures Division, Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of the Environment), Sakano Akira (Chair of the Board of Directors, Zero Waste Academy) and Yokoyama Takayoshi (Team Leader, 350.org Japan), panelists discussed how they understand the urgency to act for the climate crisis and how participants can use their networks, skills, and passion to inspire change - even from small actions such as Ms Sakano challenging the audience to decline plastic bags in order to encourage businesses to question the necessity of handing out bags automatically.
Held immediately following the UN Climate Action Summit, this was an important timing for stakeholders from across various fields in Japan to connect and consider how a comprehensive approach to tackle the climate crisis can be coordinated. Further information about the Climate Reality Project and the Tokyo training can be found here.