Japanese PM unveils new initiative on GHG emissions reduction

By Xinhua,

Tokyo : Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced a new initiative on climate change Monday, pushing for the launch of an emissions trading trial in Japan this autumn and the attainment of a 60-80 percent domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target by 2050 from current levels.

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Under the planned emissions trading system to be started this autumn, countries impose upper limits on GHG emissions and issue credits to large companies. Companies wishing to emit above the cap have to buy carbon credits from those discharging GHG below their allocated levels.

Japan will, at “an appropriate time next year,” unveil a mid-term reduction target of an estimated 14 percent cut of emissions by 2020 on the basis of 2005 level, said Fukuda, adding that Japan will also provide 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in two proposed climate investment funds for developing countries.

With the initiative, Japan hopes that it will play the leading role at July’s Group of Eight (G8) summit in Hokkaido where international coordination to tackle climate change will top the agenda and an agreement could be reached on its advocated long-term target of halving global GHG emissions by 2050 from current levels.

“We must see the transition to a low-carbon society as an opportunity for new economic growth,” said Fukuda while putting forward the initiative known as the “Fukuda Vision” at the Japan National Press Club.

“Time has come for us to take the first step toward a low-carbon society with great confidence,” he said.