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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Japan technology transfer to developing world way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, says UNIDO Director-General

TOKYO, 16 June 2010 – The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, said today that technology transfer was a key element of global efforts related to energy efficiency and climate change mitigation and Japan could play a lead role in this respect.

“The international community must harmonize technical standards for key energy-consuming products and equipment. This will also require a transfer of know-how and good practices, and developing capacities to implement them. Investment in energy efficiency also needs to be encouraged,” said Yumkella.

“Advancing the clean energy agenda will require joint action from both the public and private sectors, as well as partnerships across national and regional boundaries. Japanese industries have shown world-class energy intensities in several sectors. Through technology transfer, Japan can play a leading role in global issues such as energy and climate change.”

Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo today, he presented the report "Energy for a Sustainable Future". It was prepared by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which Yumkella chairs.

The UNIDO Director-General said that current energy systems were failing to meet the needs of the world’s poor and that worldwide, some 2.6 billion people relied on traditional biomass for cooking and 1.6 billion people did not have access to electricity.

“Lower-emission fossil fuel-based technologies continue to be an important energy source particularly for developing countries. Japan has very efficient coal power technology which could benefit the developing world,” said Yumkella.
Estimates suggest that if this technology were to be applied to all existing coal power plants in China, India and the USA, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by as much as 1.3 billion ton, the equivalent of all greenhouse gas emissions from Japan.

Yumkella commended Japan for the Bill of Basic Act on Global Warming Countermeasures. The bill, which failed to pass the National Diet (Japan’s bicameral legislation), called for reducing 25 per cent of greenhouse gases emissions by 2020, with a 80 per cent reduction by 2050, and raising the share of renewable energy to 10 per cent by 2020, while realizing sustained economic growth. He said Japan’s supportive measures for developing countries, including a pledge of USD 11 billion of public money for assistance to developing countries up to 2012, were highly admirable.

Japan is one of UNIDO’s largest donors and is funding a range of the Organization’s projects in the developing world, many of them in Africa.
Yumkella said he remained optimistic that progress was possible at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 16), scheduled for December in Cancun, Mexico. “Progress is possible on energy access, technology transfer issues and energy efficiency. Securing agreements on these issues will help move towards a comprehensive agreement by building better trust and demonstrating that fighting climate change and poverty can go hand in hand, if we continue to systematically re-orientate our development cooperation efforts towards green growth,” said Yumkella.

During his three-day official visit to Japan, UNIDO Director-General met with officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Environment. He also spoke about the potential and business opportunities in Africa at the United Nations University in Tokyo.

In 1981, UNIDO and the Government of Japan opened an Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Tokyo to help accelerate the inflow of foreign direct investment from Japan to developing countries and economies in transition, and introduce new investment opportunities to Japanese enterprises and institutions through promotion activities. It provides consultation to potential Japanese investors and to project sponsors in recipient countries, and promotes technology and investment transfer with the aim of developing small and medium enterprises, protecting the environment and making world leading Japanese technologies accessible.

To see the AGECC report, please go here: http://www.unido.org/index.php?id=1000598

To visit the website of UNIDO ITPO in Tokyo, please go here: http://www.unido.or.jp/

For further information, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO press secretary
Tel: +43-699-1459-7329
e-mail