Mumbai: Japan has announced the launch of a $10-billion fund to help developing countries combat global warming.
The move to set up the fund, called Cool Earth Partnership, to be distributed over the next five years, comes ahead of the year's G8 summit, which will be chaired by Japan.
"Japan will cooperate actively with developing countries' efforts to reduce emissions, such as those to enhance energy efficiency," said Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who will chair the G8 summit later this year.
Of the $10 billion fund, $8 billion will be set aside for assistance in climate change mitigation, while up to $2 billion will go for grants, aid and technical assistance for countries switching to clean energy, he said, adding, the funds would be disbursed beginning this year.
"There is no time to lose in addressing climate change," Fukuda told the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
He said Japan is not waiting for an agreement on the post-Kyoto action.
Reports, meanwhile, said Britain and the United States are looking to join the proposed special fund to fight climate change.
The three may make the proposal during a meeting of financial chiefs from the G-8 industrialised nations on February 9 in Tokyo, the report said.
The fund is mainly aimed at helping developing countries improve energy-saving technologies, the report said, adding that the World Bank is expected to manage it.
Apart from the three countries, the G8 also groups Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Russia. Japan aims to take the lead in debate over measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions when it hosts this year's G8, from July 7 to 9 at the northern lakeside resort of Toyako.
Japan, the world's second biggest economy after the United States, is the home of the Kyoto Protocol, the landmark 1997 treaty that mandated cuts in greenhouse gas emissions heating up the planet.
Japan, however, is far behind in meeting its Kyoto commitments. But, it said at the World Economic Forum that it would set its own target for cuts after Kyoto's obligations expire in 2012.