On 31 October 2022, UNU-IAS master’s degree students joined a session of the Shibuya Youth Climate Change Council, a climate action platform launched by Shibuya City, one of the 23 wards of Tokyo. The event engaged young people who live, study, or work in Shibuya to exchange ideas and tackle environmental issues from local and global perspectives.
Participants shared diverse solutions to reduce individual and household CO2 emissions including consumption of edible insects, garbage-sorting robots, recycling of contact lens waste, and awareness raising among friends and family.
XiaoJin Nah (a UNU-IAS student from Malaysia) discussed food carbon footprints and food miles, proposing limited meat consumption to reduce the environmental impact of meat production. Highlighting that individual action could change the whole of society, Rizki Anissa (a UNU-IAS student from Indonesia) explained how sustainable fashion choices could reduce CO2 emissions. Rafiatu Umarayi Alhassan (a UNU-IAS student from Ghana) shared her experiences working in her country’s garment industry, which benefitted local livelihoods but polluted water and killed fish, stressing that solutions needed to consider not only the economy but also society and the environment. She underlined that the daily choices of individuals mattered — businesses and governments have a responsibility to ensure that their supply chains are climate conscious.
The outcomes of the session will be presented at the Shibuya Environment Symposium on 13 November 2022.