"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Speech by Mr. Ryuji Yamane, Parliamentary Senior-Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs IGES/JIIA-sponsored Open Symposium on the Future of Climate Change Regime And Environmental Issues

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] March 3, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Today, it gives me a great pleasure to attend the symposium made possible through the efforts by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).

Almost one year will have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11 last year. Japan has made utmost efforts to achieve reconstruction with the support from the international community. On behalf of the Japanese Government and people of Japan, once again, I would like to express my appreciation for warm messages of encouragement and support over the past one year. Meanwhile, I should not hesitate to repeat that Japan is absolutely committed to continuing to take environmental issues including climate change seriously.

The day before yesterday and yesterday, Brazil and Japan co-chaired the 10th Informal Meeting on Further Actions against Climate Change. I have been told that President of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority of Qatar Attiyah, here with us and other negotiators engaged in vigorous discussions on how to advance negotiations toward COP 18 scheduled at the end of this year.

This year marks the 20th anniversary since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in 1992 at the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro. Brazil will be a host to Rio+20 in June. In this regard, this year is so critical for climate change and other environmental issues that this symposium was held timely.

Last year, we achieved historic outcomes in Durban, thanks to the effort of South Africa, who played an important role as COP President and the collective political will of participating countries. However, much more needs to be done to solve the issue of climate change. We must aim at further progress based on the outcome of Durban.

As for the Durban Platform, we must build solid foundation for discussion on future framework this year and put the new Ad Hoc Working Group on track. We should also discuss creatively and flexibly a new framework beyond 2020, from viewpoints such as what could be the fair and effective framework which would lead to genuine global interest and what kind of framework it should be as it will be applicable to all nations should be.

In order to move on to the new phase, it is also important to finish the work of existing working groups in Doha. We must continue to make steady progress in building up the mechanism to support developing countries including the establishment of the Green Climate Fund. What is important toward COP18 is to advance work while keeping political will gathered in Durban. Japan is determined to make worthwhile contributions.

Taking the opportunity of Rio+20 in June, the entire international community needs to promote low-carbon growth of the world, which is another topic for today.

The greatest topic at Rio+20 in June will be global transition to a green economy. Pursuing a low-carbon development is an essential element for the green economy besides improving resource efficiency and ecosystem service.

If we are to move to the green economy, it is necessary to introduce various policies such as enhancing making renewable energy pervasive, promoting recycle, and investing in sustainable agriculture. Global shifting to the green economy could offer effective solution to global challenges such as global warming, resource depletion, and soaring food prices.

World leaders are expected to make commitments to transition to the green economy and agree on the concrete way forward at Rio+20. Japan believes transition to the green economy is an important tool for sustainable development of the world, and green innovation will play an essential role in realizing the transition. Japan intends to raise this point through the preparatory process of Rio+20.

To promote global transition to the green economy, Japan will take the opportunity of Rio+20 to share with the international society our knowledge and experiences such as high energy efficiency, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable cities.

Bearing in mind the contributions to Rio+20, Japan proposed "Vision toward Low-Carbon Growth and Climate Resilient World" at COP17. The proposal would allow developed and developing countries to collaborate in mobilizing technology, markets, and financial resources, and realize a global low-carbon growth with the united efforts of public and private sectors.

As part of concrete efforts following this vision, Japan is promoting some regional cooperation policies by holding "East Asia Low-Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue" in Tokyo in April and formulating "African Green Growth Strategy" in preparation for the TICAD V scheduled next year.

Going forward, for the purpose of bringing genuine solution to the climate change issue through the realization of low-carbon growth all over the world, Japan will continue to serve globally by sharing its technology, knowledge and experience.

I hope this symposium will offer opportunities to freely and openly discuss future negotiations on climate change and efforts on global low-carbon growth. Let me conclude my remarks with the hope that the exchange of views will deepen mutual understanding and help facilitate future work.