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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs > Releases > Other Releases > 2003
August 7, 2003

Following is the text of a joint statement released by the U.S. and Japan following the third meeting of High-Level Consultations on Climate Change, in Washington, D.C., August 7, 2003. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky led the U.S. delegation and Minister of the Environment Shunichi Suzuki led the Japanese delegation.

Begin Text:

Two years ago, the President Bush and Prime Minister Koizumi agreed to initiate High-Level Consultations to explore common ground and areas for common action, based on the shared recognition that climate change is a pressing global problem requiring a global approach. Since then, the United States and Japan have taken significant actions to address climate change.

Last year, Japan and the United States acknowledged the promise of science and technology, the need to spur technological innovation, the importance of encouraging voluntary initiatives in the private sector, and the importance of market-based incentives. They also shared a common belief in the need for the widest possible global participation in addressing climate change, consistent with the need to ensure continued economic growth. Both sides noted with satisfaction today the considerable actions that have occurred over the past year in all of these areas.

The United States outlined recent developments in climate change activities, including progress in implementing voluntary programs, such as
industry and sectoral initiatives, to meet the U.S. greenhouse gas intensity goal, the establishment of the Climate Change Research Strategic Plan, and enhanced funding for key technologies. The United States also outlined its plans for an International Partnership on the Hydrogen Economy, and invited Japan to participate in this effort. Japan explained its position regarding the Kyoto Protocol, including its efforts to achieve the commitment under the Kyoto Protocol through measures stipulated in its New Climate Policy Program, such as reducing taxes on environmentally friendly vehicles, reforming its existing energy tax scheme, facilitating the Nippon Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan, strengthening research and development of environment-related technologies, and promoting public involvement. Both countries reaffirmed their intention to effectively implement their respective approaches to address climate change, in order to achieve the ultimate objective of the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Japan and the United States noted in particular their enhanced commitment to research and development of cleaner and more efficient technologies, which will play a key role in achieving the ultimate objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including through their participation in the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum. They also affirmed their resolve to provide leadership in improving the world’s capability to understand, monitor and predict climate variations and impacts, including through the Earth Observation Summit, held in Washington July 31, and through the Ministerial Conference that Japan will host in Spring 2004 to agree on the framework for a ten year plan on earth observations. They noted that their efforts in these areas are contributing greatly to the implementation of the G-8 Summit Action Plan on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Japan and the United States welcomed the significant progress that has been made by the working level consultations in three areas, namely Science and Technology, Market Mechanisms, and Developing Country Issues as follows:

(1) Last year, Japan and the United States decided to elaborate and implement joint climate change science and technology research activities in seven priority research areas. Since then, the two sides have worked intensively to deepen their cooperation in these areas and agreed on the list of eleven projects for implementation in five priority areas, which are contained in the Annex below. The two sides noted as well that they should explore a number of other proposals.

(2) Over the past year, Japan and the United States continued a fruitful dialogue at both the policy and technical levels on their respective climate change activities, with a particular focus on market-based approaches. They consider that this dialogue has contributed to strengthening their efforts to address climate change, and looked forward to continuing it in the future with a view to further enhancing effectiveness of their policies and measures. As a way of broadening this discussion, they also announced that they would co-host a workshop in early 2004 with Asian developing countries to advance understanding of key issues relating to technology and innovative approaches to address climate change.

(3) Japan and the United States reaffirmed the importance they attach to the participation of all countries, including developing countries, in cooperative efforts to address climate change. They welcomed their respective activities in the last year to engage developing countries through bilateral and multilateral avenues. They noted that the “Informal Meeting on Further Actions Against Climate Change” hosted by Japan in July provided a valuable opportunity for representatives from developing and developed countries to exchange views on future actions, and they resolved to continue their cooperation in follow-up activities. They also noted their interest in continuing to exchange information relating to developing country assistance. They also welcomed their cooperation in the area of capacity-building for climate change modeling through workshops to be organized by the United States, and they proposed to explore further areas of cooperation, including through Type 2 projects of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Both countries will continue to promote bilateral cooperation on climate change.

ANNEX:

U.S. – Japan Joint Science And Technology Projects

Improvement Of Climate Models Making Use Of “Earthsimulator” And Research On Earth Processes For Modeling

1. Development of an advanced regional climate change prediction model as part of emission-climate-impact integrated models.

2. Research and observation for changes in ocean environment owing to the global climate change.

Observations And International Data Exchange/Quality Control

3. Joint implementation of CO2 flux observations to identify the ability and the capacity of forests to fix carbon and for the prediction of carbon fluctuations.

4. Joint implementation of ocean surface PCO2 (partial pressure of CO2) observation in the Pacific Ocean to understand the oceanic sink.

5. Comparative, standardized and complementary measurements of atmospheric constituents for the evaluation of terrestrial/oceanic sources and sinks of carbon, other non-CO2 greenhouse gases and aerosols.

6. Study on heat and material transports and their changes in the Pacific based upon WHP revisits and direct measurements of flow through deep channels.

Research On Polar Regions

7. Oceanographic observational studies in the multi-year ice zone of the Arctic Ocean

Development Of Mitigation And Prevention Technologies Such As Separation, Recovery, Sequestration And Utilization Of Carbon And Greenhouse Gases

8. Ocean abyssal carbon experiment (OACE).

Research And Development Of Renewable And Alternative Energy Technologies, Resources And Products, As Well As Energy Efficiency Measures And Technologies

9. Assessment of key technologies required for the long-term reliability of advanced ceramics for turbine engine applications.

10. Joint study of AC losses in high temperature superconductivity (HTS).

11. Research and development of a highly efficient bioprocess for production of valuable chemicals from biomass and organ.


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