Washington International Law Journal


John Briggs


This comment examines the likelihood that the Japanese government will promote investments in energy efficiency programs in the developing world with funding from its Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Japanese Prime Minister has stated that Japan will support the promotion of sustainable development in the developing world, primarily through disbursements of its ODA funds. The need to promote investments in energy efficiency projects in the developing world is widely accepted by proponents of sustainable development. However, the likelihood that Japan will replace its current ODA energy program, which targets investments in energy generation, with a program that promotes investments in energy efficiency and conservation is remote. The Japanese governmental organizations that formulate and implement ODA policies and the Japanese business interests that have economically benefited from power generation projects can be expected to strongly resist this switch in investment within the ODA energy sector. At best, programs of energy efficiency will be an adjunct, rather than a replacement of Japan's current ODA energy sector investments.

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