Press Conference by ASO Taro, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, and Minister of State for Financial Services
(Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 8:47 am to 8:55 am)
[Questions and answers:]
At the Japan-US summit on April 16, the two countries issued the Joint Press Statement announcing the commitment to promoting public international financing in a manner to shift public-private fund flows away from carbon-intensive investments. What are your thoughts on the problems in developing an appropriate investment environment to achieve carbon neutrality?
The most important thing was that the two countries agreed to collaboratively promote developing countries' shift to a carbon neutral society and presented a direction to offer support in various manners to achieve carbon neutrality. When talking about efforts for decarbonization, we must note the existence of major emitters. The amount of CO2 emitted in Japan accounts for 3.2% of the total of the whole world, while the percentage for China is 28.6%, nearly 10 times larger, I think.
Even if Japan eliminates emissions, it will lead to only a 3.2% decrease globally. Unless major emitters like India and China make efforts for emission reduction, it would mean nothing. In that sense, the phrase "including major emitters" has a significant meaning. People talk about greening, but who decides what is green and what is not? If some organization emerges from somewhere and countries leave everything to be decided thereby, such a situation would be questionable and could not be acceptable. Therefore, we should not make a leap to zero emission or greening but should consider transitional financial measures during the process of shifting to carbon neutrality. It is impossible to achieve zero emission immediately. In that sense, Japan has highly advanced technologies and may be able to attract funds to be invested in this field, which are said to amount to some 3,000 trillion yen in total, as funds for further developing technologies for transition. As the guidance for transition has been completed with the aim of attracting those funds, measures will be taken accordingly. Japan cleared the requirements for exhaust gas first in the world, and has the potential to adapt properly with its technologies. I think people with expertise may be a driving force for new growth of Japan and the national government should proceed with its policies for carbon neutrality. I felt so when I read through the Joint Press Statement.
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