June 22, 2001

Promoting the Prevention of Climate Change through International Cooperation

Since the announcement by the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush of the intention of the United States to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, the question of how best to proceed from this point on in addressing the matter of global climate change has emerged as a critical international issue.

For the Japanese automobile industry, regardless of the U.S. decision to withdraw from this protocol produced under the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change, there will be no change in our efforts to promote autonomous action plans for energy conservation, including the early introduction of vehicles attaining specified fuel economy targets, and move forward with other approaches supporting climate change prevention.

There is widespread concern, however, that non-participation in the Kyoto Protocol by the United States, the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide, may undermine the effectiveness of moves to prevent global climate change and greatly impede fair international competition. In view of such concern, it is hoped that the Japanese government will redouble its efforts towards securing a consensus for an international framework under which the United States will choose to participate, and through which real progress in this matter can be achieved.