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September 21, 2009

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Japan to reveal its green plans

JAPANESE Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will unveil a plan to support developing countries with technology and funding to fight climate change at a United Nations meeting this week, its environment minister said yesterday.

Speaking ahead of Hatoyama's United States trip, Sakihito Ozawa also said Japan would work toward its own bold goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by outlining the economic rewards of shifting to clean energy to persuade firms wary of initial costs.

Hatoyama said this month the initiative would provide financial and technological support to developing nations working proactively to reduce emissions, but has not made clear what funds or the sort of technology would be provided.

Japan's government, which took office last week, is aiming to play a bigger role in UN-backed talks in December for a new agreement on reducing emissions to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the first phase of which ends in 2012.

The talks have run into deadlock on issues such as sharing curbs on greenhouse gases among rich and poor nations, and raising funds to help developing countries tackle global warming.

Ozawa declined to elaborate on the new scheme for developing countries, but hoped it would be an incentive for big emerging economies to join a new climate agreement.

Developing countries have insisted that industrialized countries shoulder most of the cost of resolving a problem they caused in the first place.

Ozawa said he would also work at home to persuade businesses and the public to build toward a target of cutting emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels. The target, much tougher than the previous government's, faces resistance from industry as Japan emerges from its deepest postwar recession.


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