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2014年9月26日 (金)

気候サミット 日本の知見を途上国の対策に

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passing on Japan’s knowledge can help developing nations fight climate change
気候サミット 日本の知見を途上国の対策に

Extreme weather, rising sea levels, food supply crises, water shortages — global warming is having a serious impact on the entire world. Each and every country must cooperate and move ahead with countermeasures to combat global warming.

The U.N. Climate Summit has been held at U.N. Headquarters in New York. The leaders of more than 120 nations and territories presented and explained the various efforts their nations were making to deal with global warming.

The biggest focus of the climate summit was whether participants will be able to settle on a new international framework due to come into effect in 2020 to replace the Kyoto Protocol. The framework will oversee reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide.

The new emissions agreement is scheduled to be reached at COP21, the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held in Paris late next year. This week’s summit in New York was significant, to a degree, in building momentum for creating a framework that has teeth.

In his speech in New York, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a plan to help train 14,000 experts and other personnel to help with antidisaster measures and weather forecasting in developing nations. The program will focus on island nations, where the effects of rising sea levels are enormous.

Japan has repeatedly suffered damage from storm surges and flooding. The nation has poured resources into strengthening seawalls and other coastal defenses, and has improved the accuracy of its forecasts for typhoon routes. We think passing on Japan’s knowledge to developing nations, whose disaster-prevention measures are lagging, and thereby helping to minimize damage would certainly be an effective international contribution.

U.S., China hold key

Japan is home to some superb energy-efficient technologies. During future COP negotiations, it is essential that Japan plays a prominent role through the expansion of technological support that taps such strengths.

Abe said Japan’s new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target “will be presented as soon as possible.” However, he did not mention a specific date for this announcement.

Nuclear power generation does not emit carbon dioxide, which makes it an important energy source from the perspective of the fight against global warming. But due to the March 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, it is still unclear at what pace Japan’s reactors can be restarted — or even if they will be used in the future.

It is unavoidable that more time will be needed before Japan can establish its emissions reduction target. It is important that this goal be an achievable figure, unlike the unrealistic cut of 25 percent pledged by the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in 2009.

Japan produces less than 4 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. By contrast, China and the United States — the world’s two biggest emitters — together generate more than 40 percent. Above all else, the new framework must ensure that Beijing and Washington fulfill their appropriate responsibilities regarding their emission cuts.

At the summit, U.S. President Barack Obama said, “As the two largest economies and emitters in the world, we have a special responsibility to lead.” The international community will need to closely watch the efforts of China and the United States as they grapple with reducing their emissions.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 25, 2014)Speech


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