Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said Sunday that the cooperation of major greenhouse gas emitters and the advancement of science are essential to the realization of the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions from current levels by 2050, an initiative Japan is promoting.
In a keynote speech at an international science and technology meeting held in Kyoto, Fukuda said Japan's ''Cool Earth 50'' initiative is ''a vision for our future generations to be realized by all of us, developed as well as developing economies, especially major emitters.''
''Most importantly, this is a vision to be realized by believing in science and technology,'' Fukuda said, adding that technology can be used to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and the use of fossil fuels.
Participants applauded as Fukuda, apparently looking nervous, made his first speech in English since becoming prime minister in late September. Fukuda, 71, is known to have become fluent in English when he was posted as an oil company employee to the United States for two years.
In the six-minute speech, Fukuda also said that he hopes Japan will continue to ''generate new power'' through new invention and technology so that the world can become truly sustainable.
Referring to the Group of Eight summit to be hosted by Japan next July in the Lake Toya hot-spring resort area in Hokkaido, Fukuda reiterated his resolve to make the summit an occasion to think about how to realize the ''Cool Earth 50'' initiative.
The initiative, originally proposed by Fukuda's predecessor Shinzo Abe, is aimed at creating a new international framework to fight global warming beyond the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol.
Fukuda was speaking at a meeting of the Science and Technology in Society forum that was attended by scientific experts, business leaders and others from about 60 countries, according to the organizer. ( Kyodo )