Kyoto Shimbun 1997.12.5

Requesting respect for independent industrial action

Planned to coincide with COP3, the International Conference on VoluntaryBusiness Initiatives for Mitigating Climate Change (sponsored by theFederation of Economic Organizations and other economic organizations) gotunderway at a hotel in Kyoto, Japan. On December 3, meetings were held todiscuss the role of industry in dealing with the problem of global warming.The conference has adopted a collaborative declaration asking that the COP3Kyoto Conference respects the independence of industry, stating thatallowing industries to act independently would be more effective thanbinding all industries to stiff, one-sided regulations.

In the first part of the conference, "Symposium on Voluntary BusinessInitiatives for Mitigating Climate Change", representatives from 13economic organizations in Europe, the U.S. and Asia participated indiscussions on global warming.

Tokio Kanoh, Chairman of the Committee on Global Environment, Keidanren(Federation of Economic Organizations), explained the "Independent Action PlanConcerning the Environment" which was drafted this past June. Next, eachof the participating groups introduced business and industrial plans aswell as independent agreements made with their respective governments.

Representatives acknowledged that global warming countermeasures are alsoan important issue to industries, but strongly emphasermeasures are also allowing independent action by industry. The Confederation of FinnishIndustry and Employers stressed the importance of partnerships withgovernments, and the Federation of Economic Organizations stated thatindependent action is more practical and effective than general regulations

The majority of representatives also expressed opposition to increased andnew energy taxes as a means of controlling energy use, with the Federationof German Industries saying that such taxation would hinder investmentsaimed at increasing industrial efficiency.

The collaborative declaration, which was discussed and adopted at themeeting, expresses that industry plays an indispensable role as a promoterof countermeasures to global warming. The declaration states that clarityis needed for independent action, and requests that the policies andmeasures being examined at the Kyoto Conference be designed to encourageindependent action by industries.

Examples of effective independent action, such as highly efficientconversion technologies for waste heat collection systems used in nuclearpower generation, were also presented at the symposium.

The collaborative declaration will be submitted to COP3 Chairman andEnvironment Agency Director-General Hiroshi Oki.