• Kyodo News


The government will promote “Green New Deal” policies to expand the nation’s markets related to environmental conservation and build a society where environmental policies will not hamper economic growth, according to a draft of the 2009 white paper on the environment.

The annual report on the environment, recycling society and biodiversity, penned by the Environment Ministry, will call for such policies as the promotion of environmentally friendly consumer appliances for replacement demand. The Cabinet is set to approve the paper June 2.

The Green New Deal strategy, officially unveiled by Environment Minister Tetsuo Saito on April 20, is designed to expand Japan’s environment-linked market 1.7-fold from the 2006 level to ¥120 trillion by 2020 and double employment in the market to 2.8 million.

In one of the main features of the new policy, the government will provide interest of up to 3 percent on loans to be taken out by businesses for introducing natural energy and equipment with low carbon dioxide emissions.

The draft paper cites as an example that switching from an air conditioner made in 1997 to one made in 2008 would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 260 kg and save ¥19,000 in electricity a year.

The paper also refers to Prime Minister Taro Aso’s pledge in early April to boost Japan’s solar power output capacity 20-fold by 2020.

The draft says Japan aims to lead negotiations at key U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen in December, which will set the framework for a pact to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to fight global warming. Kyoto expires in 2012.

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