January 14, 2011
On January 14, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)* regarding climate change action in the Latin American region. The signing took place at JICA’s head office in Tokyo between JICA President Sadako Ogata and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, who was visiting Japan.
Based on the previous memorandum signed on March 31, 2009, to promote cooperation for sustained economic growth and environmental improvement in the Latin American region, this memorandum establishes a cooperative framework to 1) create a co-financing framework of IDB and JICA for the Central American and Caribbean region and 2) promote technical cooperation through the Energy Innovation Center established at IDB, both of which are concrete steps toward mitigating climate change.
The above 1) (creating a co-financing framework for the Central American and Caribbean region) aims at the extension of Japanese ODA loans for co-financing with the IDB in the fields of renewable energy and energy conservation, for up to 300 million dollars over five years. The growing reality of disasters occurring in the Central American and Caribbean region due to climate change is giving rise to concerns that negative effects will only increase. As power generation in the region is primarily based on imported fossil fuels, it has been noted that there is ample room for reductions in greenhouse emissions. It is expected that the utilization of this co-financing framework will also have a positive effect on socioeconomic development in Central American and Caribbean countries, which now depend on fuel imports, through improvements in the structure of balance of payments in the region.
The above 2) (technical cooperation through an energy innovation center) highlights the enhancement of the effects through development cooperation in Latin American countries through the sharing of knowledge between the IDB and JICA in the fields of renewable energy and energy conservation, in addition to cooperation in efforts to improve capacities in those fields in the region while cooperating with IDB, a regional development bank that has long played a central role in development cooperation in the region.
The total output of greenhouse gases in the Central and South American region is 12% of the worldwide total, higher than the ratio of the region’s population (8.2%) and gross domestic product (8.6%) compared to the world as a whole, and greatly exceeds countries like China and India when compared in terms of per capita greenhouse gas emissions and gross domestic product to greenhouse gas emissions ratios (2008). For the Central American and Caribbean region, greenhouse gas emissions are approximately 3% of the worldwide total, and there are increasing fears of a crisis to come, with estimates of a 0.5-degree rise in temperature by 2020, and a one-degree rise by 2040. JICA has cooperated for socioeconomic development in the Latin American region, and makes further commitment for fighting climate change in the region through this memorandum.
* The IDB is a regional development bank providing development cooperation to the Latin American region through medium- and long-term loans, financing, financing guarantees, grant aid, and technical cooperation. JICA has worked with the IDB on a number of co-financing and technical cooperation projects.