Tokyo Declaration 2009

Cities and local governments are key players for promoting the generation and use of local renewable energy sources.

Renewable energy - solar, wind, water, geothermal, bioenergy among others - will lead our societies into a sustainable and secure energy future. Cities and local governments with their various responsibilities and jurisdictions and unique range of possible actions are key players for generating and using renewable energy sources. Being the sphere (level) of government closest to the people, local governments are best suited for promoting renewable energy sources among their citizens, local businesses and other stakeholders.

The Tokyo Local Renewables and Climate 2009 Conference presenting a variety of advanced local examples in Japan and in other countries has demonstrated again that local governments are both willing to act and able to achieve recognisable results.

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Cities and local governments highlight the multiple benefits of renewable energy.

Local Renewables - locally generated and consumed renewable energy in combination with energy saving and energy efficiency - are the most viable means to sustainably achieving and even surpassing national and international climate and energy targets. The technologies and policies for Local Renewables already exist and under the appropriate policy framework, are highly effective, at costs comparable to, those of continuing with insecure and unsustainable conventional energy structures.

The participants of the Tokyo Conference highlight the multitude of benefits of Local Renewables and stress the need for the inclusion of Local Renewables in urban and rural planning policy. The utilisation of local renewable energy:

  • reduces CO2 emissions by steadily reducing fossil fuels and other non sustainable energy sources,
  • builds a solid foundation for decentralised, secure energy supply, thus making communities more resilient and less dependent on national infrastructure and institution in centralised energy regimes,
  • offers inherent financial benefits, both in terms of saving money and generating income over the short- and long-term, when compared to conventional energy strategies and frameworks,
  • helps diversify and invigorate the local economy and promotes new local industry,
  • promotes and pushes local job creation in the green energy sector,
  • challenges innovation in energy saving and energy efficiency, including investments in new transmission and distribution systems, and
  • gives an impulse to sustainable urban development and encourages technical and social innovation.

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Cities and local governments call for a code of responsibility and stewardship.

In reference to this memorable conference, cities and local governments shall adopt a code of responsibility and stewardship, inspired by world citizens, political leaders, visionary business people and our youth, and commit to pursue Local Renewables as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


  • will actively promote the procurement of energy from local renewable sources in order to reduce the negative impact of the energy sector on the environment;
  • will intensify efforts to improve the efficiency of energy systems in order to reduce energy loss and to make energy more affordable;
  • will actively support research and development in the green energy sector as well as innovations reducing energy consumption;
  • will educate their citizens and encourage their active participation in becoming a renewable energy society;
  • will actively promote horizontal and vertical collaboration among all government agencies and departments to design and implement the changes needed to adapt to energy related impacts of climate change; and
  • will actively exchange experience, technologies and best practices with global neighbours to maximise the effectiveness of climate change mitigation efforts and to ensure adaptation to the changing climate and prevent energy crises and energy supply failures. This includes sharing of policy and technology understanding between cities and local governments that are further advanced and those that are still learning.

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Cities and local governments call their nations to set enabling framework conditions for renewable energy.

This Tokyo Declaration is the call of cities and local governments that Local Renewables will become an integral part of future energy policies and strategies. In so far as cities and local governments are leading towards this energy future, they urgently require enabling framework conditions to be set by national governments and international agreements.

Cities and local governments are the entities that will most strongly feel the negative impacts of conventional energy use, from climate change to air and water pollution and land degradation, and they are also those best suited for championing local renewables.

Cities and local governments call upon their national governments to agree on mechanisms for prioritising renewable energy within the currently negotiated post-2012 global climate agreement. Additionally, this climate agreement shall recognise the important role of local governments, especially for an efficient and sustainable global increase of locally generated and consumed renewable energy.

There is a unique chance to foster Local Renewables during the climate negotiations at COP 15 in Copenhagen in December 2009. Cities and local governments demand their national governments, the international community and all other stakeholders to prioritise the importance of Local Renewables and fully incorporate them as highly viable and effective solutions for combating climate change.

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Tokyo, 2 October 2009

More information

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
Local Renewables Initiative

ISEP(Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies)


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