Award Information

Abe Fellowship for Journalists 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Freelance Journalist
Asian Municipalities Design Innovative City-Level Responses to Global Warming

Asian city leaders are actively creating unique responses to the global warming challenges now facing their cities. Japanese and Chinese cities are amongst the world's leaders who are looking to undertake two types of initiatives: those that mitigate the negative impacts of climate change; those that reduce the city's own environmental impact (eg. shrinking the city's carbon footprint, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiencies, improving transport systems to make them cleaner-greener-smarter, etc). This project will enable me to interview key decision-makers in public sector, private sector, and independent sector -- Face-to-face interviews, combined with other research, will enable me to identify the key ingredients which make for successful policies and program innovations in these 5 cities. The project will also allow me to understand the innovators who stand behind them -- and then to report to a wide audience about the story behind the headlines. Japanese and Chinese cities are taking different approaches. Some are emphasizing the economic dimensions (for instance, by creating new environmental and clean energy industries). Others are focused on reversing the environmental damage already done to natural ecosystems. Still others are undertaking programs which aim at a bottom-up approach that encourages public engagement. But, whatever the focus in these cities, my project will uncover the "secret sauce" which enables the city to learn from its own experience, to learn from other actors (private sector lessons applicable to government agencies