"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] Statement by H.E. Mr. Koichiro Gemba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, at the Fourth TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting Plenary 4: " Addressing Domestic as well as Cross-Border Challenges (2) Climate Change "

[Place] Marrakech, the Kingdom of Morocco
[Date] May 6, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Introduction

In this session, I would like to present Japan’s views on the issue of climate change and then I would like to seek your views.

2. African Development and the Issue of Climate Change

The issue of climate change is said to amplify natural disasters and is causing serious damage in vulnerable countries. In particular, droughts and floods caused by climate change occur frequently in Africa and constitute a threat to the realization of sustainable development and human security.

It will be important for Africa to overcome its vulnerability in terms of climate change and aim for “climate resilient” economic growth while also accelerating growth by means of “green growth,” including through the use of renewable energies. Africa enjoys great potential in the area of green growth, including renewable energies, and investments in this area are also increasing.

For example, geothermal development has been cited as a stable source of renewable power in Africa. In 2010, Japan provided ODA loans to support the development of a geothermal power station in the Olkaria region of Kenya. The turbine part utilizes advanced technologies of Japanese companies. Japan intends to continue to make use of Japanese technologies as it engages itself in green growth sectors.

3. Climate change negotiations and Japan’s aid

International discussions on the issue of climate change have progressed steadily. Major outcomes emerged from COP17, including the progress towards the establishment of a future framework. In keeping with the outcomes garnered from this meeting, Japan will continue to cooperate closely with African countries and contribute actively to international discussions aiming at the establishment of a future framework.

Also, at COP17, there was an expression of political will of the international community to steadily support African and other vulnerable countries. Japan has implemented assistance of more than 1.3 billion dollars to African nations as Fast-Start Finance until 2012, and we will be continuing seamless support beyond 2012.

4. “African Green Growth Strategy” (Interim report)

It was determined at the TICAD Ministerial Follow-up Meeting held in May of last year that an “African Green Growth Strategy” would be formulated as a shared medium- and long-term vision to promote sustainable and low-carbon growth in Africa.

Japan has been working with Africa and relevant partners for the formulation of this strategy as part of support measure for developing countries of the "Japan’s Vision and Actions toward Low-Carbon Growth and a Climate Resilient World" announced last year at COP17. COP17 was an occasion to set forth the draft elements to be incorporated into the main strategy. The document has been modified after consultations African countries, the TICAD Co-organizers, and others, and we are now sharing it with you as an interim report.

This strategy aims to serve as a guideline when African countries, international organizations, and private-sector entities provide aid or conduct investments in the area of climate change. Within the six sectors of energy, forests, agriculture, water supply, disaster reduction, and transportation, it attempts to propose directions for development in which mitigation and adaptation are balanced, and aims to bring about “green growth” in Africa, by which economic growth is achieved in a way compatible with the environment. In considering this strategy, we will pay adequate attention to the differences among each country’s development needs.

From now, we will further develop this strategy ahead of the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group (to be held in Tokyo) in October of this year. As we move forward with formulation of the strategy, we intend to continue to conduct close consultations with Africa on the basis of African ownership, a principle we have attached importance to, in collaboration with international organizations and the private sector.

Based on the discussions we hold today, we intend to conduct further discussions with relevant parties and actively include in the final report the strategies of various countries and organizations as well as lessons learned from past projects. I ask for continued cooperation in this endeavor.

We believe that it is important to make the upcoming TICAD V an opportunity to put into concrete form a strategy aiming to bring about Africa’s “green growth,” with development partners supporting this as we go forward. Japan intends to promote concrete measures based on this strategy.

Thank you for your kind attention.