DWIH Focus Topic 2020: Cities and Climate

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In 2020, the German Centres for Research and Innovation (DWIH) will be engaging intensively with their annual focus topic of “Cities and Climate”. Located in five of the world’s leading cities, they serve as exceptional platforms for such engagement.

The world’s major cities have an especially important role to play in view of climate change and the need for sustainable development. They highlight the opportunities and risks of growth: resource consumption versus innovative technologies, economic pressure versus outstanding economic achievements. Thanks to their intellectual and creative potential, cities are also key actors in the battle against climate change.

Annual focus topic of the global DWIH network

For 2020, the Board of Trustees of the DWIH network has selected “Cities and Climate” as the overarching annual focus topic for the five DWIH in New York, São Paulo, Moscow, New Delhi and Tokyo. Together with its supporters, each DWIH will organise events relating to this theme and, by providing relevant information and dialogue opportunities, will create scope for follow-up activities.

Cities and Climate is the DWIH network’s annual focus topic

Further information about the selection of the DWIH focus topic for 2020 can be found on the website of the DWIH network.

Sustainable urban development in focus

“Sustainable cities and communities” is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that form part of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations. Not only are the SDGs extremely popular in Japan in any case; the 2018 heatwave also served to further intensify the climate change debate in Japan.

Effective German-Japanese formats

Germany and Japan have a number of effective bilateral formats at their disposal when it comes to furthering dialogue about sustainable development. In the German-Japanese Energy Partnership , Germany’s experiences with expanding and incorporating renewable energies into its existing system are of particular interest, while Japan is a pioneer when it comes to the use of hydrogen and the development of energy storage facilities and intelligent supply grids. The German-Japanese Energy Transition Council is currently focusing on the long-term strategies adopted by both countries and on the mechanisms for evaluating these strategies, as well as on the energy efficiency of buildings.

Trilateral exchange in Tokyo

At the Japanese-German-French conference “AI for SDGs – How can AI help solve environmental challenges?” in October 2019, the DWIH Tokyo initiated a trilateral dialogue on environmentally-friendly “smart cities”. energie.wenden (energy.transitions) , a guest exhibition co-hosted by the DWIH that will continue in Tokyo until 29 March 2020, addresses the transition to a sustainable energy supply. Sustainability will also be a key topic at the 2nd Japanese-German-French DWIH Symposium on Artificial Intelligence in November 2020.