On December 9, 1997
At the Kyoto International Conference Hall
Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates and participants of COP3, I feel honored and privileged to speak on behalf of the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations, or Keidanren for short, on how we are addressing the climate change issue.
In recent years, tackling environmental issues has one of the major concerns of Keidanren which has represented Japanese industry since it was founded in 1946. The Keidanren Global Environment Charter entered into force in 1991. In June this year, the Keidanren Voluntary Action Plan on the Environment, which covers 37 industrial sectors of this country, was released after two years of work.
We are convinced that the worldwide spread of voluntary efforts by industries is one of the most effective means of mitigating global warming. It was that belief that we sought the cooperation of the ICC and WBCSD. The result was the International Conference of Voluntary Business Initiatives for Mitigating Climate Change which was held last week in Kyoto with the participation of business and industry organizations from 10 countries and 4 continents.
The International Conference adopted a Joint Statement, copies of which have been attached to my written statement. Now I would like to go over the main points confirmed by the Joint Statement.
First, industries can make essential contributions to international measures decided in Kyoto to mitigate climate change by developing, commercializing and diffusing relevant technologies. Second, business and industry, while they act in a manner befitting regional, economic and social conditions around them, will respond actively to the climate change issue, for example, by developing energy saving technology and waste heat recovery, and promoting renewable energy and by the safe use of nuclear power . Third, voluntary action comes in various forms. There are action programs formulated by individual corporations, those by industrial sectors, those by the entire industry and even those which will be part of the national program. Fourth, voluntary actions are most effective if they are undertaken within a general framework developed by governments that allows industry to contribute technological, managerial and entrepreneurial expertise to the fullest extent. However governmental measures should not discourage voluntary and flexible approaches and should not distort trade patterns or inter-industry competitiveness.
I have just related the main points of the Joint Statement. I believe that our business conference last week, has served to highlight the value of voluntary efforts within industry. We are determined to continue to work with the ICC, WBCSD and other business and industry organizations to press ahead with voluntary action programs.
Industry's voluntary action plans are by no means free and easy-going . They demand concrete measures and constant efforts for improvement. They also require transparency, periodic reporting and review. Therefore, we would like to express our strong hope that COP3 recognizes voluntary actions as on effective policy option for implementing the goals set out in Kyoto.
I wish to conclude my speech by wishing that COP3, which is attracting worldwide attention, agrees on realistic and equitable goals for reduction of greenhouse gases as the first step on the long road to the solution of the problems of climate change.
Thank you for listening.