Bernama, 7th January 2008
TOKYO, Jan 7 (Bernama) -- The Japanese government has selected 41 priority countries for assistance under its "financial mechanism" on climate change for developing countries in a bid to take a lead in the battle against global warming, Kyodo news agency quoted government sources as saying Saturday.
China and India, two of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, are included in the 41 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, the sources said.
Among the 41, 11 countries including Kenya have been designated as "early implementation" countries.
By demonstrating the effectiveness of the mechanism to help developing nations, Japan is aiming to gain support from the international community for its initiatives to deal with global warming.
The government is planning to speed up consultations with each country to work out details such as how to provide assistance and the amount of funds, the sources said.
The financial mechanism on climate change for developing countries is aimed at supporting developing countries that have the ''will and ambition'' to combat global warming by implementing energy-saving projects and specific action plans, among other steps.
In selecting the 41 priority countries, the government took into account their funding needs, their own undertakings to combat global warming, their international influence, and the degree of their understanding of and cooperation with Japan's initiatives.
On China and India, a Foreign Ministry official said, ''It is impossible to resolve the problem of global warming without the active participation of both countries.
It is important to show a cooperative stance on the financial aspect.
The 11 "early implementation" countries are Kenya, Ethiopia, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Madagascar in Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia in Asia, Guyana and Mexico in Central and South America, and Micronesia in Oceania.
"Among the 11, Japan and Indonesia have already reached a basic agreement on the framework of financial assistance," the sources said.
Under the financial mechanism, assistance is likely to be provided in two forms -- direct assistance or indirect assistance through international organisations such as the United Nations, the sources said.
With regard to direct assistance, Japan is considering utilising a "green development" mechanism to invest in projects by developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, providing grant aid for projects focused on combating global warming and creating specialised yen-denominated loans.