TOKYO – JAPAN said on Friday it would use solar electricity panels and air conditioners using snow to make an eco-friendly media centre at this year’s summit of the Group of Eight rich nations.
Japan said it hoped to make the July 7-9 summit in Toyako, a mountain resort on the northern island of Hokkaido, carbon-neutral – meaning on a net level it would produce zero carbon emissions blamed for global warming.
‘We will showcase environmentally friendly technologies, including those locally developed in Hokkaido,’ chief government spokesman Nobutaka Machimura told a news conference.
‘The summit itself will be operated with consideration for environmental conservation,’ Mr Machimura said.
Journalists will be taken in fuel-cell and hybrid cars to the media centre, which will be made of thin wood walls and boast solar panels and air conditioners powered by snow, Mr Machimura said.
The summit will also showcase traditional Hokkaido houses, ‘which have such efficient heat efficiency that they don’t even need appliances’, said Mr Machimura, a Hokkaido native.
Japan has said it is inviting heads of state and government of major emitters to discuss climate change on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Group of Eight – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.
Japan has championed the Kyoto Protocol, named after its ancient capital, but it is far behind in meeting its own obligations under the landmark treaty as its economy recovers from recession in the 1990s.
At a UN climate conference in Bali in December, Japan came under fire for siding with the United States, the main opponent of Kyoto, in resisting clear targets for future emissions cuts.