December 1, 2007 (Malaysian Sun) – Japan has reached a broad agreement with Indonesia to provide financial aid for implementing measures on global warming, the first such deal to be struck under a new mechanism Tokyo unveiled in May to support developing nations, government sources said.
Japan, eager to take the lead in forming a global consensus on building a post-2012 international framework, will support Indonesia’s plans to expand geothermal power generation, address illegal logging, and establish environmental laws and regulations, the sources said.
Japan will officially announce the agreement after finalizing details and hopes to promote the new mechanism to other developing countries so they can also implement sustainable measures to fight global warming.
The new financial mechanism to provide “relatively long-term and substantial-size funds” to developing nations for their cooperation in global efforts on climate change was announced in May by then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as part of his Cool Earth 50 initiative to halve global emissions of greenhouse gases from current levels by 2050.
Support from developing countries, which are most prone to suffering from the impacts of global warming, is essential to the success of creating a new international framework after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
Developing nations do not fall under the current protocol but contribute 23 percent of the world’s total emissions, even when excluding the major emitters China and India.
In applying for support under the new financial mechanism, developing nations are required to submit action plans on measures such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and taking steps to cope with disasters related to climate change.
Japan will then decide whether to provide the financial support based on its review of the action plans.
In Indonesia’s case, Japan applauded its proactive efforts so far in dealing with global warming issues, including playing host to a two-week U.N. climate change meeting in Bali from next Monday, the sources said.
A senior Foreign Ministry official said that strengthening cooperation with Indonesia “will keep China in check and help us gain support from other developing nations.”
Details on the amount of financial support and the time frame will be finalized in further negotiations between Japan and Indonesia, but it is expected to be mainly based on yen loans, the sources said.
Japan aims to work on similar agreements with African countries ahead of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development next year.
However, amid a continuous trend of budget cuts in Japan’s official development assistance, there are also concerns about whether adequate fund allocations can be secured to support the aid mechanism.
Japan will also host the Group of Eight major nations’ summit next July, where climate change and the post-2012 framework will be high on the agenda.