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Japan: Climate Saviour Or Climate Killer?

Japan: Climate Saviour Or Climate Killer?

Opening of the UN Climate Meeting, Bonn Germany

Bonn, July 16th 2001: Latest press reports say that Japan has thrown into question it’s commitment to the only international agreement on global warming, the Kyoto Protocol, by stating that there will be no progress at the climate meeting which starts in Bonn today. The talks stalled in the Netherlands last November as a result of US intransigence.

“The Protocol can only survive if Japan abandons its pretence of attempting to turn around Bush’s hard line rejection of the Protocol and commits to ratify,” said Bill Hare, Greenpeace climate policy director. “Japan cannot hide behind its self-appointed “peacemaker” stance. There is no peace to be made – Bush has said he rejects the Protocol, effectively making Japan the country which will make or break it .”

“On the one hand Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Koizumi has said that Japan will continue to negotiate in good faith. Yet now he has said that there will be no progress at these crucial talks before they have even started. With every passing day, Japan’s credibility falls further and further.”

As key countries including the European Union have clearly stated their support for the Protocol and with US President GW Bush’s rejection of it, if the Japanese are to leave this meeting with any environmental credibility they must state that they will ratify the Protocol.

The Protocol can enter into force without the US if Japan ratifies, making up the 55 percent of countries needed to meet the requirements for the Protocol to enter into force. This will not happen at this meeting without Japan.

“Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Koizumi has recently bowed to US pressure and said that he will work "to the last minute" to persuade Mr. Bush to rejoin the Kyoto Protocol. Stories continue to circulate that Japan is seeking to amend the emissions targets and timetables of the Kyoto Protocol. If this is true Mr. Koizumi is making a terrible mistake in seeking to somehow appease Mr. Bush, Exxon and other US fossil fuel interests who are seeking to undermine the Kyoto Protocol.”

Greenpeace has installed a six metre high inflatable planet earth outside the conference surrounded by 24 televisions screening testimonies about climate change from several hundred people from around the world. Greenpeace wants to bring the voices of the people into the conference.

Ends

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