In order to implement the “Cool Earth 50” initiative, “Cool Earth Promotion Programme” has been launched by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The programme consists of three pillars; post-Kyoto Framework, International Environment Cooperation, and Innovation.
Greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by at least half by 2050
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC-the scientific panel that was awarded last year’s Nobel Peace Prize-has warned that if we are to avert a catastrophe, it would require global greenhouse gas emissions to peak in the next 10 to 20 years and be reduced by at least half by 2050. Japan calls on the United Nations to examine at the earliest possible time strategies and measures to bring about this peak and halving of emissions.
At the Bali conference, agreement was reached to aim to establish by the end of 2009 a new framework governing greenhouse gas emissions reductions that would follow upon the Kyoto Protocol now in force. In order to ensure the peaking-out of global greenhouse gas emissions, it is absolutely critical to create a mechanism in which everyone participates, including, inter alia, all major emitters.
All major emitters should participate in Post-Kyoto Framework
As the chair of the G8 Summit, Japan is resolved to take on the responsibility in working towards the establishment of a framework in which all major emitters participate as well as the setting of fair and equitable emissions target. Within that context, Japan will, along with other major emitters, set a quantified national target for the greenhouse gas emissions reductions to be realized from now on. In setting this target, Japan proposes that the equity of reduction obligations be ensured. The target could be set based on a bottom-up approach by compiling on sectoral basis energy efficiency as a scientific and transparent measurement and tallying up the reduction volume that would be achieved based on the technology to be in use in subsequent years. The base year should also be reviewed from the standpoint of equity. Without equity, it will be impossible to maintain efforts and solidarity over the long term.
International Environment Cooperation
Japan is dependent on other countries for its energy resources, and ever since the First Oil Crisis, Japan has been committed as a nation to energy conservation. Over the last 30 years, Japan has succeeded in doubling our real GDP without increasing the overall energy consumption of the industry sector. This demonstrates that Japan succeeded in the simultaneous pursuit of both economic growth and environmental protection.
Transfer of high quality environmental technology and assistance to developing countries
What Japan can take action is to transfer high quality environmental technology to a greater number of countries. For example, if the level of efficiency in Japan’s power plant is achieved in the three countries of the United States, India, and China, the resulting CO2 emission reductions would amount to some 1.3 billion tons - the equivalent of Japan’s annual total emissions. Japan proposes to set a global target of 30% improvement of energy efficiency by 2020.
The other pillar of International Environment Cooperation is assistance to developing countries that are aiming to achieve both emissions reductions and economic growth and working to contribute to climate stability.
Cool Earth Partnership
As one measure, Japan will establish a new financial mechanism, Cool Earth Partnership, on the scale of US$10 billion. Through this, Japan will cooperate actively with developing countries’ efforts to reduce emissions, such as efforts to enhance energy efficiency. At the same time, Japan will extend the hand of assistance to developing countries suffering severe adverse impacts as a result of climate change. Japan also aims to create a new multilateral fund together with the United States and the United Kingdom, and we call for participation from other donors as well. Japan will use such instruments to strengthen solidarity with developing countries and work towards the reduction of greenhouse gases globally.
The third part of the Cool Earth Programme is Innovation, which includes the dual aspects of development of innovative technologies and a shift to a low carbon society.
In order to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it will be absolutely critical that there be breakthroughs in technological innovation. This is a very challenging task, and it will require a tremendous investment in technology. Japan will be accelerating the development of technology of zero CO2 emission coal-fired power plants, as well as low-cost, high-efficiency solar power generation technology that can be mounted on rooftops around the world, and Green IT, among others. Japan will be emphasizing investment in research and development in the fields of the environment and energy, and over the next five years, will be investing approximately US$30 billion in this effort. Japan also proposes to formulate an international framework through which it can collaborate closely with international agencies such as the IEA to accelerate technology development and share the fruits of such efforts.
The Winsor Hotel in Toyako, venue of the G8 Summit