JAPAN STUNS UN CLIMATE TALKS BY DITCHING CO2 TARGET
Japan set a new target for greenhouse gas emissions that critics say will set back United Nations talks for a treaty limiting fossil fuel emissions. The new target effectively reverses course from the goal set four years ago by allowing a 3.1 per cent increase in emissions from 1990 levels rather than seeking a 25 per cent cut.
“This move by Japan could have a devastating impact on the tone of discussion here in Warsaw,” Naoyuki Yamagishi, an official at WWF Japan, said in a statement at climate talks in Poland in anticipation of Japan’s decision “It could further accelerate the race to the bottom among other developed countries when the world needs decisive and immediate actions to ‘raise’ ambition, not to ‘lower’ ambition.”
The new target, announced today by Minister of the Environment Nobuteru Ishihara in Tokyo, calls for Japan to cut emissions by 3.8 per cent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. Ministry data shows Japan’s production of greenhouse gases increased 7 per cent by 2005 compared with 1990, the baseline for the government’s previous goal.The country’s previous commitment, set in 2009, sought to reduce emissions 25 per cent by 2020 from 1990 levels. The new goal would represent a 3.1 per cent increase from 1990 if that year is used as the starting point, according to Bloomberg calculations.