Japan Will Invest In Clean Energy

Will invest $100 million in projects and offer loans totalling $2 billion over five years.

Japan on May 6 pledged $100 million to support clean energy projects in Asia, as rapid economic growth brings rising emissions of greenhouse gases. Japan will also offer loans totaling up to two billion dollars over five years to promote sustainable development and measures to combat climate change, Finance Minister Koji Omi told the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting.

"With Asia's role in the world economy growing, CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from Asia are having an increasing environmental impact," the minister said. "At present, Asia accounts for about 30% of global energy consumption," he said, adding that the region's energy use would double by 2030 from current levels.

The ADB said May 4 it would invest $900 million in clean energy projects in 2007 and slightly more in the following two years, with the priority on China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam.

But the development bank came under attack from non-governmental campaigners led by Greenpeace which said that a large portion of the ADB's energy financing was still being channeled into smoke-belching fossil-fueled power. "The bank must end the obvious contradiction of saying they want to fight climate change, while supporting coal, the most climate-damaging of energy technologies," Greenpeace's Athena Ballesteros said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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