Speech by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi
Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the Ministerial Breakfast "Climate Change and Development: Progress on Finance for Adaptation"
September 24, 2008, New York
Dr. Jeffrey Sachs,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my honour to make presentation on behalf of the Government of Japan on this important subject of "Climate Change and Development". I have all the more special attachment to the issues on climate change, partly because I had held the office of the Minister of Environment till I became the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2002, and naturally I had been heavily involved in hard negotiations on that subject. At present, I am the lead member of the Investigating Committee on International Global Warming Issues of the House of Councillors, and the Executive Secretary of the Global Warming Prevention Headquarters of the ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, through which we try to enact the Basic Law to promote Low-Carbon Society. It is my strong belief that the key to tackle global climate change is to establish a low-carbon society. Whether we can hand over the rich basis of living to our future generations depends on our ability to establish such a society where the most efficient utilization of energy and resources, as well as RD&D (research, development and diffusion) of innovative technologies are actually practiced. I am convinced that Japan should take a lead to show the model of low-carbon society. I came to New York to attend various meetings during the sessions of this year's General Assembly as Special Envoy of the Government of Japan which I was just appointed by the Cabinet decision on September 9th and I look forward to constructively exchanging views with you all this morning.
Climate Change is an issue that significantly influences our day-to-day living and economy, and one that directly relates to sustainable development. Global determination is needed now to put an end to the situation where despite of serious but endless debates by all stakeholders we can see no clear path towards actual reduction of Greenhouse Gases emissions.
Because of its urgency, early actions are needed in tackling climate change. With this in mind, Japan has set up the Cool Earth Partnership on the scale of US$10 billion, and extends assistance to developing countries that aims at achieving emissions reductions while compatibly pursuing economic growth, and working to contribute to climate stability. We also assist developing countries suffering from severe adverse impacts of climate change. Approximately 50 countries have so far become Partner countries. This August, the first Yen Loan, which we call "Climate Change Program Loan", was granted to Indonesia that includes assistance in adaptation such as in the area of water. Japan is determined to actively engage in assisting developing countries' adaptation efforts through this Partnership programmes.
As an initiative together with the UK and US, the Climate Investment Funds administered by the World Bank was established in July which was welcomed and supported by the G8 members at Summit meeting in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan. US$ 6 billion was pledged from the G8 members, including up to US$ 1.2 billion from Japan. We will call upon interested countries for participating in this Funds, and are determined to continue our efforts toward enhancement of this Funds.
I have introduced some of the early actions taken by Japan in relation to adaptation to climate change. As the negotiations gain momentum, we must mobilise our wisdom towards an effective post-2012 international climate regime, including the adaptation and the Government of Japan is determined to play a leading role in such efforts.
Thank you for your attention.
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