Abe Says Japan to Raise Climate Support for Poorer Nations

(Bloomberg) — Japan will boost its annual financial

support to 1.3 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) by 2020 to help

developing countries tackle climate change.

The announcement, by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, comes as

world leaders prepare to gather in Paris for talks aimed at

producing a global deal on the climate. The summit, known at

COP21, is scheduled to begin on Monday in the French capital.

“I will attend COP21 and would very much like for an

agreement to be reached on a new global framework to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions,” Abe told a meeting on Thursday,

adding that the extra support will help pave the way toward the

goal of $100 billion in climate financing a year by 2020 from

developed countries.

Japan will also contribute by promoting innovation, Abe

said.

“The development of revolutionary technology is key to both

tackling climate change and economic growth,” he said.

Green Climate Fund

The 1.3 trillion yen commitment is for one year and

includes support from both public and private sectors, according

to a document from the Ministry of the Environment. The amount

is 30 percent more than what Japan currently allocates annually.

Among the key issues in Paris talks will be how to mobilize

and share the burden of providing financial support. Japan

follows the U.S. in terms of pledged amount to the Green Climate

Fund, set up to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing

countries, according to the fund’s website.

Meanwhile, newly released figures show some gains being

made by Japan at home.

The nation’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3 percent in the

year ended March 31 compared with a year ago thanks to energy

saving measures, according to preliminary figures from the

environment ministry.

The ratio of electricity output from renewable sources

excluding hydro also rose to 3.2 percent from 2.2 percent and

emissions fell even with no output from nuclear power stations,

according to the document.

It’s the first annual drop in emissions since 2009.

Still, Japan is facing criticism from environmental groups

because of dozens of plans at home to build power stations

powered by coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, and for the

financing of coal projects abroad. The Japanese government

supports advanced coal technologies, while some governments and

companies in Europe and the U.S. are moving away from coal.

To contact the reporters on this story:

Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net;

Maiko Takahashi in Tokyo at mtakahashi61@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

Iain Wilson, Abhay Singh

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