14 May 2009 03:05:12
Japanese government emissions figures called into question
The Japanese government is misleading its people with confusing statistics on carbon emissions, the WWF has claimed.
According to the international conservation group, a country of Japan's stature should be contributing significantly to global efforts on emissions by pledging to reduce its own carbon output by between 25 percent and 40 percent over the coming years.
However, it claimed that the country is skewing public opinion of US and European emissions rates in order to make its modest goals seem more impressive.
Prime minister Taro Aso and his government are currently debating a number of potential targets which range from an increase of 4 percent on 1990 emissions levels by 2020 to a decrease of 25 percent over the same period.
Previously, it has suggested that a rise of 4 percent in Japan's carbon emissions over the next decade is comparable to the European Union's plans to cut emissions by 20 percent.
However, the WWF's Kim Carstensen, leader of its global climate initiative, warned that the way in which it compares its emissions to those of other countries is misleading.
"Ill-informed Japanese citizens are at risk of being talked into a high emission future - bad for the people, bad for the economy and bad for nature," she said.
The WWF is campaigning for humanity's energy and carbon footprints to be reduced enough to stay "within the earth's capacity to sustain life" by 2050. http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/