Japan and South Korea each have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in green projects to create jobs and spur economic growth, in what the United Nations says is the latest sign that its Green New Deal is gaining momentum.
Japan has announced a program aimed at stimulating the economy by promoting measures to curb global warming. Measures announced by Environment Minister Tetsuo Saito Thursday aim to expand the green business market and create up to one million new jobs.
Saito said measures include zero-interest rate loans for environmentally-friendly companies and promotion of the purchase of vehicles and housing with low carbon dioxide emissions.
South Korea will invest $US38 billion over the next four years in a series of eco-friendly projects to create 960,000 new jobs and lay the groundwork for economic growth.
The 36 Korean projects include the creation of green transport networks, the provision of two million energy-saving green homes and the cleanup of the country's four main rivers.
In October, the UN Environment Programme launched the Global Green New Deal and Green Economy Initiative as both an antidote to current economic woes and as a springboard to a low carbon, low impact, high job generating and better-managed global economy.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "Investments in clean-tech and renewable energy; infrastructure such as railways and cycle tracks and nature-based services like river systems and forests, can not only counter recession and unemployment but can also set the stage for more sustainable economic recovery and growth in the 21st century."
The move by Japan and South Korea - two of Asia's major economies - follows U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's plans to implement a multi-billion clean energy program during his presidency in a bid to create millions of jobs.