Global Environment

Statement by Kouichi Yamamoto, Minister of the Environment of Japan, at COP 22

Thank you, Mr. President and distinguished delegates. Let me express my sincere gratitude to Morocco for the excellent leadership as the COP22 Presidency.

I would like to welcome the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement and express my great respect for the efforts and passion of all Parties. Also, Japan welcomes the Kigali Amendment and the agreement at the ICAO in the process between Paris and Marrakech.

Japan has actively expressed its position to support the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement at various occasions including Leaders' Declaration in G7 Ise-Shima Summit. We deposited its instrument of acceptance of the Paris Agreement to the secretary general of United Nations on the 8th of this month. I am pleased to celebrate its entry into force with all Parties here in Marrakech.

The world has shifted its course towards the goal of achieving a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century. We have to build a prosperous and resilient society in cooperation with the international community by promoting integrated measures towards this goal. This is also consistent with SDGs. Japan is going to play a central role in this.

Discussion on the rulebook of the Paris Agreement has started this year. Japan places emphasis especially on the implementation of the mechanism which allows each Party to enhance their reduction efforts in a transparent and effective way. We promise to contribute to the process of rule-making, drawing upon our experiences and knowledge.

It is the Cabinet's top priority to take countermeasures against global warming. The cabinet decided "the Plan for Global Warming Countermeasures in May this year, which sets the target of 26% reduction by 2030. Japan will lead the international community so that major emitters undertake emission reductions in the light of respective capabilities, and aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 as a long-term goal, while pursuing economic growth. Japan will implement the Plan which includes the energy mix consistent with this target and the promotion of the national campaign "Cool Choice" in order to achieve this target by 2030. With regard to adaptation, Japan has strengthened the measures within the government as a whole, such as establishment of platform for supporting adaptation actions of each actor under the national adaptation plan. Furthermore, as Japan committed in the G7 Ise-Shima Leaders'Declaration, we will prepare long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy. We will enhance R&D of innovative and promising technologies, in the area of energy and environment, which are not a mere extension of the existing efforts. Through long-term and strategic approaches, such as social implementation of these technologies and transformation of social structure and lifestyles, we will contribute to the reduction of global GHG emissions.

Japan will work towards delivering our pledge, 1.3 trillion yen in 2020, as Prime Minister Abe announced last year, to support developing countries in their efforts to tackle climate change. To ensure implementation of the Paris Agreement, Japan will enhance technology development and dissemination, and capacity building in developing countries, including the support for implementation of NDCs, while also considering the support for CBIT. We will do so by taking advantage of our prominent technologies and knowledge, in corporation with international community and civil society and industrial sectors. Based on the new initiative announced recently, we will further promote activities under the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) which has so far resulted in 101 projects with 16 countries, and support the enhancement of adaptation capacity by building infrastructures of climate risk information in the Asia pacific region. These are all well-grounded forms of cooperation based on the needs of developing countries.

Japan also places great emphasis on the measures for fluorocarbons. In response to the Kigali Amendment of Montreal protocol, Japan will begin considering domestic actions. Building upon our experience, we will support developing countries in their efforts to reduce emissions throughout the lifecycle of products including collection and destruction and to prepare an inventory which is fundamental to their fluorocarbon measures.

In my capacity as Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment, I was involved in the process of Kyoto Protocol adoption at COP3 in Kyoto. That experience formed a basis of my work as a politician. I consider environmental policy formulation as my life work. Therefore, I feel overwhelmed to see the Paris Agreement enter into force and realize that the political leadership in the efforts against climate change will be ever more important. Japan is committing to fulfilling its due responsibilities and to playing a central role for the future.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(November 16th, 2016 in Marrakech)

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