Global Environment

Second Meeting of the U.S.-Japan High-level Consultations on Climate Change Science and Technology Working Group

26 February, 2002

The United States and Japan agreed today to cooperate in a broad range of joint climate change science and technology research activities at the second meeting of the U.S.-Japan High-level Consultations on Climate Change Science and Technology Working Group held in Tokyo on February 25-26, 2002. This meeting was conducted under the June 30, 2001 agreement of President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to undertake "high-level U.S.-Japan government-to-government consultations to explore common ground and areas for common action on climate change."

The respective delegations were led by Dr. Harlan Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative of the Department of State for the U.S. side, and by Mr. Noriyasu Yamada, Councilor for Environmental Strategy for the Ministry of the Environment for the Japanese side.

The 20-member U.S. delegation included representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Department of State, National Aeronautical and Space Administration, and National Science Foundation. The 35 member Japanese team included representatives of the Secretariat of the Council for Science and Technology Policy, and the Ministries of: Foreign Affairs (MOFA); Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF); Economy, Trade and Industry (METI); Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT); and the Environment (MOE).

The two sides identified more than 30 joint climate change science and technology research activities for possible implementation in seven priority research areas identified at the first Working Group meeting of September 29, 2001. The priority research areas include: (1) improvement of climate models making use of the "Earth Simulator" and research on earth processes for modeling; (2) impact and adaptation/mitigation policy assessment employing emission-climate-impact integrated models; (3) observations and international data exchange/quality control; (4) research on greenhouse gas (GHG) sinks including land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF); (5) research on polar regions; (6) development of mitigation and prevention technologies such as separation, recovery, sequestration, and utilization of carbon and GHGs; and (7) research and development of renewable and alternative energy technologies, resources, and products, as well as energy efficiency measures and technologies.

The climate change science research activities are intended to improve the capability to understand, monitor, and predict climate variations and their impacts. In addition, the technology research activities will contribute to the development of advanced low carbon technologies to limit net emissions of greenhouse gases.

The United States and Japan agreed to each designate points of contact for each possible joint project to coordinate the development of specific research agendas. The two sides also agreed to present report of the results of the Working Group deliberations, including a list of U.S.-Japan joint projects for possible implementation, at the next meeting of the U.S.-Japan High-level Consultations.

The two sides recognized the importance of enhanced economic and other incentives to encourage private sector research and development on climate change science and technology in addition to the above cooperative efforts.

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