Issue Deep Dive
Last updated: January 9, 2023
ODA In Context
In 2020, Japan’s ODA targeting climate change as a principal or significant goal totalled US$15 billion, comprising 78% of its bilateral allocable ODA.
Japan remains the highest DAC donor for climate-related ODA in relative terms and emerged as the highest DAC donor in absolute terms in 2020.
Japan’s ODA to climate significantly increased in 2020, up 132% from 2019 (US$6.5 billion).
Commitments made at international climate conferences and in multi-party agreements also impact Japan’s climate-related ODA policies. At the G7 Cornwall Summit in June 2021, Japan committed to providing ¥6.5 trillion (US$61 billion, or US$12 billion annually) in climate finance to low- and middle-income economies from public and private sources over the next five years, from 2021-2025. This is the same level as its previous commitment made through the ‘Actions for Cool Earth 2.0’ policy announced at COP21 in 2015. Among other actions, the policy committed Japan to provide ¥1.3 trillion (US$12 billion) annually in climate finance by 2020. At the COP26 summit in November 2021, Japan pledged an additional US$10 billion in climate finance, both public and private, bringing its total climate finance commitment to US$71 billion over the following five years. This includes a doubling of adaptation finance to US$14.8 billion to assist countries in adapting to climate change and preventing disasters.
In March 2022, Japan contributed US$42 million to UNDP’s ‘Climate Promise Initiative’ to assist 23 countries in meeting the NDCs, making it the largest donor in the next phase of this initiative. NDCs are climate change mitigation plans that set out national strategies to achieve the global targets set out in the Paris Agreement. The funding will support countries across Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Japan has also established the 'Joint Crediting Mechanism', a bilateral offset mechanism that allows Japan to credit contributions of low-carbon technologies and expertise to low- and middle-income economies towards its own international emissions reduction commitments. Since establishing the JCM in 2011, Japan has signed agreements with 17 countries.
The bulk of Japan’s climate-related ODA is directed to projects in infrastructure (55%), with the remaining funding directed towards water and sanitation (14%), other multisector (10%), health (9%), and agriculture (5%).
In 2020, Japan’s climate-related ODA experienced a massive shift in focus as more funds were channeled towards climate adaptation projects, which represented 69% of all climate-related ODA, as compared to climate change mitigation, which represented just 36%. 6% of Japan’s climate-related funding focused on both adaptation and mitigation.
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
Japan’s multilateral climate finance is low, however, it does contribute some of its climate financing through multilaterals. Not all these funds are considered ODA. This includes contributions to the following multilaterals:
Funding and Policy Outlook
Japan is tackling climate change through both mitigation and adaptation: Japan references both climate change mitigation and adaptation as priorities in its ‘Development Cooperation Charter.’ In addition, JICA’s ‘Climate Cooperation Strategy,’ last updated in 2016, names four priority issues:
- Promoting low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure;
- Enhancing climate risk management;
- Supporting climate policy and institution building; and
- Enhancing forest and other ecosystem conservation and management.
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