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 user 2007-05-08 at 12:08:00 pm Views: 40
  • #18245

    Japan Vows $100 Million for Climate Control
    Japan (May07) – Japan pledged $100 million in grants to the Asian
    Development Bank on Sunday to combat global warming  and promote
    greener investment in the region and called for a stronger
    international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.The money is
    part of a new initiative by the government in Tokyo to support
    sustainable development in response to increasing concern that Asia’s
    breakneck economic growth is destroying the environment. It comes just
    days after a breakthrough agreement in Thailand set the world’s first
    roadmap for fighting climate change.

    Addressing environmental
    problems is a priority at the ADB, which was founded four decades ago
    to fight poverty through economic growth. The ADB is working to counter
    the mentality that poor nations that want progress must sacrifice the
    environment — and criticism that the bank funds rampant development.”I
    think for quite some time, Asia has made the assumption that you grow
    first and worry about the environment later,” ADB Managing Director
    General Rajat Nag said. He said regional governments no longer believed
    “that the environment is something you don’t need to worry about
    today.”Over the last three decades, Asia’s energy consumption has grown
    by 230 percent, and it is expected to double again by 2030, ADB
    President Haruhiko Kuroda said Sunday. The region already accounts for
    a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions — a leading cause of
    global warming.Japan, which has the biggest voting power in the ADB
    along with the United States, will channel up to $100 million into two
    new funds — the Asian Clean Energy Fund and the Investment Climate
    Facilitation Fund.Japan will also provide up to $2 billion in loans to
    the Asian Development Bank over the next five years to promote general
    investment in the region.The $100 milllion in grants is intended to
    promote renewable energy resources, such as solar power, and encourage
    environmentally friendly infrastructure. The money is also aimed at
    attracting greener investment.The bank, which currently spends $1
    billion a year on clean energy, has come under criticism for funding
    coal projects, which are vilified as fanning global warming. The bank
    says coal is more economical for poor countries.Organizers hope the
    ADB’s environmental agenda will get a boost from the host city, Kyoto,
    where an international protocol to fight global warming was born 10
    years ago.Japanese Finance Minister Koji Omi said it was time for
    something stronger than the Kyoto accord and called for “a new,
    practical and effective framework in which all countries, including the
    United States, China and India, will participate.”

    On Friday in
    Bangkok, delegates from 120 countries approved the first blueprint for
    stemming greenhouse gas emissions, laying out what they said was an
    affordable arsenal of anti-warming measures that must be adopted.The
    report, a summary of a study by a U.N. network of 2,000 scientists,
    said the world has to make significant cuts in gas emissions through
    increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and vehicles, shifting
    from fossil fuels to renewable fuels, and reforming both the forestry
    and farming sectors.