30 Sep 2009
Making 'sense' of the new Japanese target
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The leader of the newly elected Democratic Party of Japan Yukio Hatoyama created quite a stir with his bold mid-term target for emission reduction -- 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. The target is seen as a major shift in policy from the previous government's climate-recalcitrant attitude -- pushing the base year from 1990 to 2005, to give Japan the advantage of emissions that have spiraled in the post-Kyoto period. In India, policy makers have seen it as a sign of changing times -- the Japanese ambitious target, which is more than what has been put on the table by the European Union -- would put pressure on the rest of the climate-renegade nations, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to come clean.

This is when we know Japan's greenhouse gas emissions have increased by a record 2.3 per cent in 2008 and over 11 per cent between 1990 and 2005. And when we know that under the Kyoto Protocol it already has international legally binding commitments to reduce by 6 per cent over 1990 levels by 2008-2012. So, it has reneged