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Japan Announces $10.6 Billion in Climate Financing for 2020

FILE - Solar panels are seen at the Les Mees solar power plant in Les Mees, southern France. Japan's new financing plan is an increase from its current assistance of about 1 trillion yen ($8.2 billion).

Gearing up for global warming talks in Paris next week, Japan said Thursday it plans to provide 1.3 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) in climate financing a year for developing countries from 2020, including public and private funds.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement as he prepared to join more than 100 world leaders who will assemble in Paris to try to negotiate an agreement to limit climate change.

Japan said the financing plan is an increase from its current assistance of about 1 trillion yen ($8.2 billion) a year. The increase is meant to help industrialized countries fulfill a commitment to extend a total of $100 billion a year to help developing countries cope with or stave off climate change.

So far, commitments for 2020 remain below that level, with $30 to $40 billion yet to be offered.

“I think we are on the right track and I hope our contributions will be a big step forward,” said Japan's chief negotiator in the talks, Atsuyuki Oike.

Oike said details of the financing would be announced later, and that the ratio of public to private financing was not yet decided.

He said funds will go to projects such as urban railways, geothermal power generation and training, and other areas where Japan has strong expertise.

Oike said Japan was going to Paris with a “constructive spirit,” but that all involved would likely start with a firm stance and then make concessions along the way.

“Everyone has stated their positions without indicating any room for compromise,” he said.

The aim in Paris is to agree on a framework to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.