The international Research Network for Low Carbon Societies (LCS-RNet) held their Fifth annual meeting in Yokohama, Japan during 22-23 July 2013, 81 participants from 18 countries and two international organizations attended the LCS-RNet meeting, while 90 participants from 15 countries and two international organisations attended the LoCARNet meeting. The meeting considered how a low carbon society could be achieved considering complex social and economic backgrounds.
The LCS-RNetmeeting was co‐hosted by the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, in cooperation with the International Research Network for Low carbon Societies. The low carbon societies have been facing challenges within the current socioeconomic situation especially in the context of economic recession, energy system risks and uncertainties, a large number of shale gas entering energy market, and the climate change impacts that caused severe damages from weather extreme. Given these threats, LCS research is now have to go beyond the stage of theory to impact practice more directly.
The meeting discussions addressed lessons learned from past transitions within a wider global context, how to secure adequate investment finance, and how to stimulate structural changes that could impact more fundamental change. The LCS-Rnet was also emphasized about its future and expectations towards the network, as the network supports the dialogue extension by linking policymakers, businesses and researchers.
The key messages from the meeting were
- Towards transitioning to a low carbon society : global consumption of materials must be reduced, improving resource efficiency, and improving and disseminating technologies to end-users.
- Towards mainstreaming climate policies: Policy has to bridge economic and environmental for the success of transformation and delivering green growth strategy. This requires policies that promote low carbon energy resources and technologies and international mechanisms that promote the effective and affordable transfer of technologies and the development of regional clean energy markets.
- Up-scaling investments to realize low carbon societies: The policy environment should be re-designed so that climate change becomes a mainstream consideration in investment decisions.
- Integrating local LCS actions into global challenges: Bottom up approaches can empower a range of social actors to contribute to common goals serving as the coordinating mechanism.
Accelerating the transition to low-carbon societies: it is essential to develop transitions of knowledge and innovation into practice in daily life utilization.