Japan to set 3.8% 2020 emissions reduction target – report

Nikkei newspaper says new goal would represent a 3% increase in the discharge of greenhouse gases from 1990 levels

(Pic: Apple 94/Flickr)

(Pic: Apple 94/Flickr)

By Ed King

Japan could set a new 2020 emissions reductions target of 3.8% on 2005 levels, the Nikkei newspaper reports.

It says Minister of the Environment Nobuteru Ishihara will announce the new goal at UN talks in Warsaw next month.

If accurate, the new goal would be considerably lower than the 25% emissions reduction on 1990 levels Japan agreed to aim for in 2009.

The Nikkei says the new target would represent a 3% increase in the discharge of greenhouse gases from 1990 levels.

Naoyuki Yamagishi, Leader of the Climate and Energy Group of WWF Japan described the proposed figure as “immensely inadequate”.

“The number is not final but it seems to be on ministers’ lip,” he told RTCC, arguing Japan “should not should not lower its ambition below 15% domestic reduction compared to 1990 levels.”

Japan’s lead UNFCCC negotiator declined to comment on the report, but the government has been arguing for some time it would change its policy on this issue.

Earlier this year Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the 25% goal was impossible to achieve, largely because of the phase out of nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Last year Japan followed Russia and Canada in confirming it would not take part in an extension to the Kyoto Protocol, currently the world’s largest emissions reduction treaty.

Despite today’s reports, the government’s recent submission to the UN does confirm it supports efforts to develop a new climate change deal in 2015.

“In a long – term perspective under the post – 2020 framework, it is important to take into account the proposal made by the G8, which is achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050 and as a part of it , developed countries reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in aggregate by 80% or more by 2050 compared to 1990 or more recent years,” it says.

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