Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda today vowed to cut carbon emissions and help developing nations cope with global warming. Over the next five years, Japan will spend $US30 billion on new environmental technology at home and provide another $US10 billion for developing countries.

Fukuda also proposed a 30 percent improvement in energy efficiency globally by 2020. In contrast, the European Union has pledged a 20 percent cut in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020.

Fukuda said improved efficiency allowed Japan’s economy to double in size in the past three decades without increasing energy consumption by industry but an even more efficient use of energy was needed to halve greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.

Fukuda is seeking to stem declining support for his ruling party by making the fight against global warming a centerpiece of his policy.