Japan’s new government seeks deeper cuts in greenhouse gases


Tokyo : Japan’s premier-designate said Monday that his incoming government wants to make deeper cuts in the country’s emissions of greenhouse gases.

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Yukio Hatoyama, who is slated to become the next prime minister after his Democratic Party of Japan won last week’s parliamentary election, said the party wants emissions cuts of 25 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.

That goal compares with an eight percent cut envisioned within the same timeframe by outgoing Prime Minister Taro Aso of the Liberal Democratic Party.

“We will aim to establish a fair and effective international framework involving all major countries in the world” to fight global warming, Hatoyama said during an environmental forum in Tokyo, according to the Kyodo News agency.

Disagreements about the responsibilities of developed and developing countries have slowed talks on fighting climate change with developing countries arguing that developed nations – such as Japan, which is the world’s second-largest economy – have historically produced more greenhouse gases and should bear a greater burden in making cuts to those emissions.

Hatoyama, who was expected to be chosen premier Sep 16 in a vote in Japan’s Diet, said developing nations must also make cuts “in the process of achieving sustainable development and eliminating poverty under the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’.”

He said developed countries should provide financial and technological aid for developing nations to cut greenhouse gas production, adding that once his new cabinet takes up its duties, he would begin drawing up plans on how to provide such aid, which he would introduce to the international community as the “Hatoyama Initiative”.

His speech came ahead of a UN climate change conference in December in Copenhagen, which has been tasked with agreeing on a new global initiative to fight climate change that would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.