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Japan PM to announce aid for poor nations to fight global warming

Jan 10, 2008 - BBC Monitoring

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will announce a five-year 1 trillion yen package to help developing countries combat global warming when he attends a World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland later this month, government sources said Thursday.

Under the programme, Japan will help aid recipients reduce greenhouse gas emissions, work to prevent natural disasters linked to global warming and shift to use of more renewable energy sources such as solar power rather than oil and other fossil fuels, the sources said.

The aid package is expected to cover more than 40 countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America, with Tokyo already discussing concrete support measures with Indonesia, they said.

Climate change is expected to become one of the key issues on the agenda at the Group of Eight summit talks Japan is to host in the Lake Toya hot-spring resort area of Hokkaido in July.

Fukuda plans to deliver a keynote speech on global warming at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum starting Jan. 23 in the Swiss resort of Davos.

At the upcoming conference, Japan is seeking to mention that there is a need to cap the overall amount of global greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2013, a period not covered by the Kyoto Protocol, the sources said.

The 1997 protocol, which sets country-by-country emission reduction targets for the developed world, expires in 2012.

The government initially considered a 500 billion yen aid package for developing countries mainly through measures taken by the Foreign Ministry.

To show Japanese leadership on the climate issue, however, the government decided to double the sum using budgets of related ministries and agencies and tapping the private sector for funding, the sources said.

Source: Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0516 gmt 10 Jan 08