Japan commits to 25 per cent cut in CO2 emissions

Lumps of coal
Activists and local residents in West Virginia are calling for an end to coal mining by means of mountaintop removal

Japanese plans will include limits on greenhouse gas emitters and support for clean energy

New Prime Minister's plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions face strong opposition from Japanese industrial sector

Greenpeace have welcomed Japan's commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 against 1990 levels.

Incoming Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama made the announcement against a background of opposition to tackling climate change from the auto industry in particular.

Japan's greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise since 1990 despite a commitment under the Kyoto protocol to reduce them to 6 per cent below 1990 levels during 2008-12.

Greenpeace say the target still fell short of the 40 per cent cut by 2020 required by industrialised countries as a group at the Copenhagen summit in December but was a step forward.

'This is the first sign of climate leadership we have seen out of any developed country for quite some time – the type of leadership we need to see from President Obama,' said Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace International.

Japan has pledged to meet the target by creating a domestic emissions trading market with compulsory limits on major emitters and financial reward for clean energy. Carbon taxes are also being considered.

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