Japan, Britain Eye Cooperation to Support Decarbonization Efforts in Africa, Indo-Pacific

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan and Britain plan to cooperate to help businesses in their respective countries reduce the risks involved in overseas renewable energy projects to support decarbonizing efforts in Africa and the Indo-Pacific region, according to sources.

Amid China’s increased global investment, Japan and Britain aim to foster solidarity with other countries by supporting infrastructure projects, ensuring a high level of transparency and awareness of environmental issues.

Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance and U.K. Export Finance are expected to share information on business plans in Africa, India and Southeast Asia. The two organizations are in the final stages of negotiations and an agreement is expected soon.

Nippon Export and Investment Insurance is wholly owned by the Japanese government.

The two organizations are likely to share information on projects for zero-carbon power generation, such as wind, hydrogen and ammonia-fired thermal power.

They also plan to cooperate in the provision of loans and trade insurance to cover risks linked to overseas businesses, which are difficult segments for private insurance companies, and will join forces to research environmental and human rights issues in prospective investment destinations.

The Japanese and British governments also plan to promote cooperation in projects to aid Ukraine’s post-war recovery. The two governments will enhance information sharing, aiming to facilitate an environment in which businesses can easily make investments.

China is expanding global investment under its Belt and Road Initiative, using the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank among other channels. Examples of Belt and Road investments include ports, thermal power stations and renewable energy projects.

But the initiative has been dubbed debt-trap financing, as developing countries are being saddled with debt so that China can gain the rights to ports and other local infrastructure in return.

Japan and Britain intend to differentiate themselves from China by backing the development of efficient power plants and facilities for renewable energies. They also hope to enhance their collaboration with emerging and developing countries in the so-called Global South, such as India.