Japan: "Extremely Ambitious" 15% Emissions Cut

japan taro aso emissions cut image

Image from NHK World

With Copenhagen on the horizon to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the Japanese government knew it had a legacy to protect. Even children here know what is at stake. Today, prime minister Taro Aso announced what he called "extremely ambitious" greenhouse gas emission cuts of 15%. We wrote about the manga campaign here to get him to make even deeper cuts, such as 25%.

Aso stressed that Japan's mid-term target of 15% has been calculated solely on domestic energy-saving efforts, unlike those set by the US and Europe, which include emission rights purchased from other countries.The 14-15% reduction compared to 2005 levels translates to about 7-8% reductions to 1990 levels... The EU reductions compared to 2005 levels are about 13% and the US about 14%, according to Naoto Katase, NHK World. He was even told that "Japan's proposal is unlikely to be welcomed at this point."

Mr Aso, you could have done worse, and a lot better.

The prime minister had the following to say today to NHK World:

He urged other countries to set similarly ambitious goals, saying the mid-term target is just the first step toward full-scale international negotiations. Aso said it would be irresponsible to repeat that the larger the emissions cut the better, without explaining the sacrifices to be made by the public and by industries. He appealed for the public's cooperation in achieving the reduction target, saying it's the price to pay for saving the Earth.

WWF Japan and other NGOs here were lobbying hard to get the government to go for the minus 25% (or more) target. The Kiko Network, Japan's main NGO lobbying for serious efforts to combat climate change, says the 15% reduction target "falls far short of international expectations."

What do you think, is adopting 2005 levels rather than 1990 levels useful to get developing countries like China and India to become major stakeholders in Copenhagen?

Brought to you by Martin Frid at greenz.jp

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