NEWS

Credit crisis should not affect summit

Is there any danger that the recent credit crunch will mean that environmental concerns will be pushed down the list of topics for discussion at the G8 Summit? The G8 Summit is traditionally held to cover major issues that arise from time to time. So, I’m sure that the G8 leaders will be interested in discussing the economic outlook. I think people will watch this important meeting from this perspective as well. But this is one issue and the world is also watching out for the climate issue as well. I think we are going in the right direction in the sense that the UN environmental conference in Bali achieved a relatively good basis, as the major pollution emitters participated and a new framework was agreed upon. Our prime minister will take the initiative in coordinating the different positions and taking action a step further for the early conclusion of the framework. Japan is ready to take such an initiative and Japan has its own ideas and proposals, as do other countries. So, it will be a good opportunity to discuss the wide variety of issues. Japan has launched a «Cool Earth» initiative ahead of the G8 Summit. What exactly is «Cool Earth» about? «Cool Earth» is a plan to halve greenhouse emissions by 2050. This is our long-term objective. Then, the question is how we could implement or materialize that idea into specific actions. This is the area where Japan is working very seriously. First are Japan’s proposals on the post-Kyoto framework. There are three principles: First is that the major emitters should participate. Second is that the reduction target should be fair and equitable. Third is that the base year needs to be revised. These are the ideas that we have put on the table. Another is that of the coordination and collaboration of the international community as a whole. Japan attaches importance to technology transfer.