Opening Remarks by
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yutaka Banno
at the Transitional Committee
July 13, 2011 Tokyo
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to host the second meeting of the Transitional Committee with the UN University. I would like to extend my warmest welcome to you all who are present here, including His Excellency Mr. Manuel, Minister in the Presidency, National Planning Commission of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Cordero Arroyo, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico, and His Excellency Mr. Lund, State Secretary for Ministry of Finance of Norway.
Developed countries accounted for 65% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, but that percentage had already decreased to 49% by 2007 and it continues to decline.
It goes without saying that developed countries need to take the lead. But at the same time, developing countries including emerging economies are also expected to take ambitious actions in tackling climate change. In this regard, we need to develop the Cancun Agreements and construct a new comprehensive framework with participation of all major economies, which will provide transparency and facilitate further actions. We firmly believe that it is the shortest way to combat global climate change.
In order to combat climate change, it is essential to generate a strong movement to lead the world toward the direction of a low-carbon growth under such a framework. The Green Climate Fund is expected to support this movement from a financial aspect. We will actively contribute to the design process of the Fund to ensure that it can respond expeditiously to the need of developing countries.
In this regard, it is particularly important to overcome the dichotomy of public and private financing, and create a system that can mobilize private finance by using public finance as an initial investment.
On 11th of March, our earth brought Japan a crisis of a magnitude that comes once every 1000 years, the Great East Japan Earthquake. Again, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to wholehearted support from all of you and from the whole international society.
After this massive earthquake, I was struck by three ideas. Firstly, a person does not live on his or her own, but is graciously admitted a life to live. So, people should be respectful to the nature. Secondly, a person cannot live alone, but can live only thanks to the people around him or her. Thirdly, it is exactly the time of a tremendous disaster that we need to transform it into opportunity.
These three ideas have much in common with the ideas when addressing environmental issues including climate change. Especially, Japan has overcome the environmental and energy issues by transforming the crisis into opportunity. Environmental degradation and oil crisis were serious challenges for Japan. However, Japan surmounted them through energy saving and technological innovation, and the knowledge and technologies acquired through these challenges became a driver of further growth.
Now again, we are starting a "new challenge" toward the future energy policy based on the lessons from the earthquake. On 25th of May, Prime Minister Kan announced "four-pronged strategy" in Paris, adding the two pillars of "renewable energy" and "energy efficiency", to the two existing pillars of "nuclear power" and "fossil fuels".
Especially, the effort to strongly promote the efficient use of fossil fuel, to enhance the practical use of renewable energy, and to pursue energy saving limitlessly, will directly connect to the emission reduction. Japan is determined to contribute further to global environmental protection efforts, through sharing our advanced technologies and experiences from the lessons of the earthquake with the world.
Finally, I would like to conclude my remarks by expressing my hope that this meeting and the discussions of the Fund design will promote the robust operationalization of the Cancun Agreements at COP17, and a future comprehensive framework for tackling climate change.
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