TOKYO - The Japanese
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will back up
private-sector overseas projects to cut global-warming
gas emissions through lending, investment and trade
insurance to be provided by government-affiliated
financial institutions, ministry sources said.
The move is intended to help Japan achieve its
carbon-dioxide-reduction goal stated in the Kyoto
Protocol, which allows countries engaged in such
projects overseas to obtain carbon-dioxide emission
rights from foreign governments.
obliges Japan to trim its carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2008-12 by 6 percent from
the levels seen in 1990. In other words, CO2 emission rights obtained by Japanese
companies involved in overseas energy-saving projects,
such as renovating old power-generation plants and
improving factory efficiency, will count as Japan's
CO2 reduction under the protocol.
METI will make it easier for private firms
involved in such overseas projects to obtain lending and
investment by Development Bank of Japan and Japan Bank
for International Cooperation (JBIC), the sources said.
By drumming up investment from private lenders,
Development Bank will set up a 3 billion yen (US$25
million) fund to pump money into private firms'
energy-saving projects abroad, into which the public
lender will also contribute 500 million yen.
Development Bank and JBIC will also be
encouraged to extend loans to private firms' environment
protection-related and other projects overseas. METI
will also encourage those public lenders to provide
trade insurance to such private-sector companies to
cover possible losses from unilateral contract
violations by overseas countries in which they pursue
The ministry has secured
2.5 billion yen in its fiscal 2003 budget to reduce
CO2 discharges. Last October, the
ministry started procedures to award government
hallmarks to private-sector firms seeking to use the
Kyoto Protocol mechanism.