As the pictured Reuters graphic indicates, Japan, which until now has relied on voluntary measures to meet their GHG-e reduction objectives, has actually seen increased emissions.
The increase of 2.3 percent last year, largely due to the closure of Japan's biggest nuclear power plant after an earthquake, will ratchet up the pressure for it to give up its efforts to control emissions through voluntary measures and adopt tougher limits on industry like the European Union and Australia.Via:Reuters, Japan CO2 hits record
See a few predictions below.The upshot is that Japanese utilities are being encouraged to invest in adding nuclear power capacity: a difficult "sell" in a nation where there is considerable distrust of nuclear utilities.
Japan will have to consider cap and trade or regulatory allocations with penalties and incentives. (Takes too long to design and build nuclear.)
Although I have no first-hand knowledge of Japanese culture, it seems reasonable to expect we'll see some "face saving" policy innovations proposed, and some high-level foreign policy talks with the US - which also relies on voluntary measures - during the run-up to the 2009 Copenhagen meeting of the Kyoto Convention signatories.
It's the Kyoto Convention, after all.
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