US and Japan sign climate deal

The United States and Japan have signed a new agreement which will look to pump $100 billion into the green economy and a ban on financing any new coal-fired power generation.

The announcement was made and US president Joe Biden met with Japanese prime minister Kishida Fumio.

In a joint statement the pair said: “Recognising that the path to energy security runs through clean energy, the United States and Japan intend to build on their cooperation to increase climate ambition, including through decarbonization and clean energy, and continue to lead on their respective domestic climate efforts and on accelerating international climate action. The two sides intend to reinforce bilateral cooperation to achieve their 2050 net zero goals and their aligned 2030 nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, alongside promoting a global trajectory consistent with keeping global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.”

As part of the cooperation the two countries have pledged to fully deliver “on the goal of developed countries to jointly mobilise $100 billion in climate finance as soon as possible, in line with the Climate Finance Delivery Plan, including enhancing action on the ten principles for collective actions identified.”

They will advance efforts to make financial flows consistent with the global achievement of net zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050, with deep emission reductions in the 2020s and climate-resilient development.

The deal will also “ensure there is no new direct government support for unabated international coal-fired power generation and to rapidly scale-up technologies and policies that further accelerate the transition away from unabated coal capacity to an overwhelmingly decarbonized power system in the 2030s, consistent with our 2030 NDCs and net zero commitments, while ensuring stable energy supply.”

The two countries will also look to advance “rapid decarbonisation of on-road transport”, including by working to achieve a significant market share for zero-emission vehicles in the light duty sector by 2030, and reducing emissions from medium and heavy-duty vehicles and promoting innovation for various technologies.

The cooperation will also look to address climate-related financial risks and opportunities, including promoting “consistent and comparable” mandatory disclosure of climate-related information.

On renewable energy the pact will see both the US and Japan look to deploy advanced technologies in areas such as renewable energy, energy storage such as batteries and long-duration energy storage technologies, smart grids, building electrification, energy efficiency, clean hydrogen, clean ammonia, carbon capture utilisation and storage/carbon recycling, and industrial decarbonisation. On nuclear power the cooperation will look to strengthen ties  including the use of small modular reactors; and advancing collaboration under the US-Japan Clean Energy and Energy Security Initiative (CEESI), including several new bilateral task forces for accelerating offshore wind, geothermal energy technologies and nuclear power.

The two countries said they recognised the importance of the global maritime sector in a net-zero future.

The pair said they would be “building on established deep cooperation on the decarbonisation of the shipping sector to promote the demonstration, deployment, and adoption of low- and zero- emission lifecycle fuels and technologies for shipping, recognising that decarbonising the shipping sector is essential to transitioning to a clean energy economy; advancing ocean-based climate actions such as green shipping corridors and supply for zero-emission shipping.”

A White House spokesperson said: “Prime minister Kishida and president Biden recognised the existential threat of the climate crisis, and committed to making the 2020s the decisive decade for climate action. They affirmed their intent to meet today’s energy demands while working toward long-term energy security by implementing ambitious 2030 nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement and 2050 net zero emission goals. In service of these goals, the two leaders affirmed their intent to enhance cooperation under the Japan US Climate Partnership.

“The two leaders recognised the importance of nuclear energy as a critical and reliable source of carbon-free electricity and process heat. To this end, they committed to greater nuclear energy collaboration and to accelerating the development and global deployment of advanced and small modular reactors by jointly using export promotion and capacity building tools. The two leaders also concurred to work together to create more resilient nuclear supply chains, including uranium fuel, for both existing and new reactors.”

The two countries will also look to advance “rapid decarbonisation of on-road transport”, including by working to achieve a significant market share for zero-emission vehicles in the light duty sector by 2030, and reducing emissions from medium and heavy-duty vehicles and promoting innovation for various technologies.

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