US climate envoy visits Japan as efforts continue to fight climate change

Us Climate Envoy Visits Japan As Efforts Continue To Fight Climate Change Us Climate Envoy Visits Japan As Efforts Continue To Fight Climate Change
John Kerry and a Japanese minister, © AP/Press Association Images
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By Mari Yamaguchi, AP

US climate envoy John Kerry has met Japan’s top diplomat in Tokyo to push efforts to fight climate change ahead of a United Nations conference in Glasgow this year.

Foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi highlighted what he said was the importance of getting other major carbon emitters, especially China, to cooperate.

After his meeting with Mr Kerry, Mr Motegi told reporters: “China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter and the number two economy as well, and it is extremely important that we encourage China to firmly fulfil its responsibility to match its place.”

Mr Motegi added that he hoped Japan and the United States would lead global decarbonising efforts at the Cop26 UN conference to be held in Glasgow in late November, and beyond.

The United States is the second-largest carbon emitter. Japan is fifth.

Mr Kerry will also meet Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga, environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi, as well as economy, trade and industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama.

The US diplomat arrived in Japan on Monday and will fly out on Tuesday evening to China for more climate talks – his second trip to the country during the Biden administration.

Mr Kerry has called on global leaders to work together and accelerate actions needed to curb rising temperatures to no more than 1.5C over pre-industrial levels.

He urged China to join the US in urgently cutting carbon emissions.

Many countries have pledged to eliminate net carbon emissions by 2050. Japan has promised to strive to reduce its emissions by 46% from 2012 levels, up from an earlier target of 26%, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. China has also set a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.

Mr Kerry with the Japanese prime minister (AP)

Mr Suga has said Japan will try to push the reduction as high as 50% to be in line with the European Union.

In order to achieve that target, Japan’s environment ministry is seeking a significant budget increase to promote renewable energy and decarbonising programmes.


The trade and industry ministry plans to use large subsidies to promote electric vehicles and wind power generation, according to a draft budget proposal for 2022.

The ministry, in its draft basic energy plan released in July, said the share of renewables should be raised to 36-38% of the power supply in 2030 from the current target of 22-24%.

During his September 1-3 China visit, Mr Kerry is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua.

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