Hatoyama seeks to cut CO2 emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2020
Incoming Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama pledged to reduce Japan’s greenhouse-gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, a target that puts Japan at the forefront of the fight against climate change.
But Hatoyama said the ambitious Japanese targets are contingent on similarly ambitious goals promised by other major polluters.
"We can't stop climate change just by setting our own emissions target," Hatoyama said at an environmental conference in Tokyo on Monday. "Our nation will call on major countries around the world to set aggressive goals."
Mr. Hatoyama's aggressive commitment will likely put some pressure on other industrialized nations to come to Copenhagen for the UN climate talks in December willing to consider similar targets. The existing targets agreed to by EU leaders, for example, would slash greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, 5 percent short of the cuts proposed by Hatoyama.
“Our country can’t stop climate change even if we achieve our reduction targets,” Hatoyama said. “The world’s leading nations must strive for an international framework that is fair and effective.”
To help achieve the reduction, Japan will create a domestic emissions trading market and introduce a 'feed-in tariff '– direct payments for industries that expand their production of renewable energy.
Hatoyama's Democratic Party of Japan won a lopsided election last week over the Liberal Democratic Party—which had governed Japan for all but 10 months since 1955.
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