What does the 1.5-degree temperature rise limit in the Paris Agreement mean in practice? This question is presented in the video competition that is organised simultaneously in Turku and in three Japanese cities.

Image: Saori Matsuda from Nagano visited Turku to get to know circular economy solutions and climate work in the area.

The City of Turku is organising a video competition for adolescents and the objective is to embody a climate-sustainable lifestyle through means of young people. Three Japanese cities organise a similar competition and the gems of this Finnish-Japanese collaboration are gathered for the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.

Japanese cities with a collective goal

The Japanese cities of Nagano and Obuse collaborate with Turku on climate change prevention. A video campaign with these cities is carried out as part of the collaboration programme. Yokohama, one of the biggest cities in Japan with 3.6 million residents, entered the collaboration to find new ways to involve local residents in climate work.

Project Manager Saori Matsuda from the Environment Protection and Climate Change Policy Section of the Environment Department, City of Nagano, says the city encourages residents to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. The city has organised events where residents have been advised on concrete measures to reduce emissions. However, because of coronavirus, it has not been possible to arrange such events anymore.

- We felt that the proposal of Turku to organise the 1.5-degree campaign was a good idea to raise awareness among residents in this situation. We decided to organise the campaign also in Nagano because we feel it is a good opportunity to invite city residents to think about what kinds of actions in everyday life cause a lot of carbon dioxide emissions, says Matsuda.

Matsuda hopes that adolescents in her city actively participate in the competition. New ideas for a climate-sustainable way of life given by residents are very welcome. Videos made by young people can be used to forward the message about climate by distributing them in events and online. Matsuda feels that the campaign also has further potential in Japan.

- If this campaign succeeds, we want to invite neighbouring cities and villages to do similar campaigns. Our objective is to have citizens think about the environment and we hope their awareness will lead to reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

In Yokohama, the goal is to invite residents to join climate work. The role of adolescents is seen as particularly important.

-The objective of Yokohama is to be carbon neutral by 2050. It is essential for us to have adolescents involved if we want to reach our goal. As for the campaign, we hope adolescents can have a good time and learn more about climate change, says Director General Eriko Yakushiji from the Climate Change Policy Headquarters, City of Yokohama.