colorful belt on a white cover


Kankyo-Seisakuron Kogi (Environmental Policy and the SDGs - Toward Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs])


260 pages, A5 format




February 10, 2020



Published by

University of Tokyo Press

See Book Availability at Library

Kankyo-Seisakuron Kogi

Japanese Page

view japanese page

Five years have passed since the United Nations (UN) adopted a series of “sustainable development goals” (SDGs), which aim for creating a more inclusive society through integrated environmental, economic, and social advancement. Since then, various efforts have been taken to achieve these goals, both domestically and internationally. In Japan, the “SDGs Promotion Headquarters” was established in May 2016, chaired by the prime minister and comprised of all cabinet ministers. In December of the same year, the “SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles” were formulated (revised in December 2019), and efforts are now underway across every ministry and government office to realize the SDGs in accordance with these guidelines.
The publication of this book is timely, as it offers a guide in developing new environmental policies during this transitional period of social change, while reflecting back on environmental policy thus far.
The book provides detailed commentary on policy measures to address a variety of challenges we face; it carefully traces the development of environmental policy in Japan, beginning with responses to the problem of pollution, then improvement of the local environment, and finally broadening its perspective to encompass global environmental issues. Furthermore, it systematically discusses Japan’s environmental policy reflecting the international agreements of “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (centered around the SDGs) and “The Paris Agreement” on climate change.
The international community has discussed sustainability and sustainable development for a while. Currently, the international community has faced the massive socioeconomic impact of the worldwide spread of the coronavirus. Under these circumstances, the UN is moving forward with a three-step plan to build a better society, from emergency response to long-term recovery, by (1) establishing strong, cooperative health and medical response mechanisms; (2) mitigating economic impacts while protecting human life and livelihoods; and (3) learning from the current crisis. For recovery in Stage 3 in particular, the emphasis is on reaching the global goals agreed upon in the SDGs and the “Paris Agreement,” and on the creation of more integrated and sustainable development models moving forward. It is precisely because we are living in such an era that the steps taken to address the SDGs are of such critical importance.
In light of this, the Japanese government recently proposed a course of action for social reconstruction, which aims for a sustainable and resilient recovery, by re-designing (1) a decarbonized society; (2) a circular economy; and (3) a de-centralized society. This book investigates what an integrated environmental policy would look like, and thus offers vital resources for a sustainable recovery.
The SDGs evolve from a stage of broad social recognition to one of social transformation through the building of partnerships among diverse stakeholders in order to construct a truly sustainable society. I hope book will play a role in finding solutions to environmental problems as we move into the future, and be of broad practical use to students who wish to help build a sustainable society.


(Written by TAKEMOTO Kazuhiko, Project Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives / 2020)

Try these read-alike books: