11 Jun 2009 12:06:06
Japanese greenhouse gas reduction target condemned
Japanese prime minister Taro Aso announced his country's target for the reduction of greenhouse gases in Tokyo yesterday (June 10th), prompting outrage among some environmental groups that criticised the government for "dangerously" lacking ambition.
Only hours after neighbouring China unveiled ambitious plans to tackle climate change by focusing its attention heavily on renewable energy, Japan announced that it will work towards a 15 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.
Announcing the target as UN delegates met in Bonn for discussions on climate change, the Japanese government said it is comparable to those set in European countries because it does not permit carbon trading schemes.
When compared to emissions levels as they stood in 1990, however, it only represents an eight percent improvement by 2020.
Criticising the plans, Kim Carstensen, who leads the WWF Climate Initiative, said: "We have waited a long time for Japan to finally inform the world about its emissions plans and today we were presented something dangerously lacking any level of ambition."
She said that the target is only two percent below what Japan originally committed to in the Kyoto Protocol, adding that it "sets the wrong tone" for discussions taking place in Bonn.
"Aso's decision, influenced by polluters rather than the public, makes reaching a good deal even harder," Ms Carstensen concluded.http://tinyurl.com/lzloa4