Japan’s government has pledged to offer $10bn in financial aid for decarbonisation projects in Asia to support the continent’s energy transition.

Reuters reported that the aid will be provided to projects such as renewable energy, energy conservation and conversion from coal to gas-fired power generation.

Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshi Kajiyama suggested support measures for the region in a virtual meeting with the energy ministers of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ten ASEAN countries took part in the meeting.

The measures included helping each country to establish a path towards carbon neutrality and to develop a roadmap for achieving this.

Mr Kajiyama was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We propose the Asian Energy Transition Initiative as a package of Japanese support for realistic transitions in Asia towards carbon neutrality.”

Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Oil and Gas Division director Takeshi Soda said that the financial aid will be provided for projects that help to minimise carbon emission levels and contribute to each nation’s carbon-neutral target.

Mr Soda told Reuters that the projects to be supported under the scheme include gas-fired power stations and liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminals. Gas and LNG are considered important transition fuels for industries seeking alternatives to coal.

Mr Soda said: “There has been rapid progress in divestment in fossil fuel projects in the international finance industry.

“But to achieve carbon neutrality in ASEAN, it is important to create a mechanism to attract investment and financing for a variety of projects and technologies that contribute to an energy transition.”

Last December, the Japanese government announced plans to quadruple its offshore wind generation capacity by 2040 as part of its efforts to achieve its 2050 decarbonisation target.

The decision was made at the second meeting of the Council for Government-Industry Dialogue for offshore wind in Japan.