With nations undecided on what to do, it is great to see cities and states get tough on greenhouse gas emissions. California enacted a cap on global warming emissions in 2006, and yesterday the Tokyo metropolitan assembly adopted an ordinance requiring large businesses to reduce their CO2 emissions to specified levels, the first such obligation in Japan.
By 2020, factories and offices will be required to reduce their CO2 output by 15-20 percent of the average amounts emitted from 2005 to 2007, sources said. A maximum fine of 500,000 yen will be imposed against those that fail to meet their targets. This mandatory program will start in 2010.
Satoshi Yamashita, director at Tokyo's environmental policy planning section, told Reuters that the new limits would help Tokyo reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2021, compared with 20 years earlier. More details below the fold.
We like that office buildings will also be expected to cut emissions by 15-20 percent. The cap and trade system is actually the first in the world to target the commercial sector, including offices, which consume a large amount of energy in the city.
Better performing workplaces will be allowed to trade emission volumes with those that are falling behind in their efforts, and workplaces that fail to meet their targets will have their names publicized.
The Tokyo government also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from ordinary houses and cars by 25 percent from the year 2000 level by 2020, but it remains to see if that can actually be enforced.
It is not the first time that this nation's capital leads the way by taking tough measures for the environment. In 2003, Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures decided to ban the operation of polluting, older diesel-powered vehicles, if their particulate emissions exceeded tight limits.
In both the diesel truck ban and the CO2 emission cuts, the regulations set by Tokyo and its neighbours are often more drastic than those of the national government.
Tokyo is a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Groupe, and will host a C40 Conference on Climate Change in October, 2008. "Global warming is the most critical environmental issue ever faced by humanity", notes Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara. Way to go.
The Asahi Shimbun: Tokyo ordinance obliges businesses to curb CO2
Brought to you by Martin Frid at greenz.jp