Japan to offer $10 bln to fight global warming: report

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama attends at a meeting with Japan-Korea Cooperation Committee members at his official residence in Tokyo December 7, 2009. REUTERS/Koichi Kamoshida/Pool

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will offer $10 billion in aid over three years to 2012 to help developing countries fight global warming, including steps to protect biodiversity, a Japanese newspaper said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will unveil the aid offer on December 18 when he attends a U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, the Tokyo Shimbun daily reported.

A pledge of funds from rich countries to help poorer ones fight global warming will be a key ingredient for any climate change deal in Copenhagen, where talks slowed on Monday due to a protest by African nations accusing rich countries of doing too little to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The European Union has promised around $3.5 billion a year for three years as its contribution to a start-up fund that could eventually grow to $100 billion or more annually. The United States says it will do its fair share but has not yet promised anything beyond $1.2 billion for this year.

Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa last week declined to say how much Japan -- the world’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases -- would contribute, but said the government wanted to pay more than a previously announced $9.2 billion over three years.

Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Edwina Gibbs