Japan needs to cut emissions by 14 % from 1990 level for Kyoto pact

Nov 05, 2004 01:00 AM

Japan will need to reduce its current greenhouse gas emissions by about 173 mm tons, or 14 % of the amount in base year 1990, by 2012 to meet its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol, according to data from the Environment Ministry.
While Japan is required under the international pact to reduce its emissions by 6 % from the 1990 level by 2012, a total of 1.34 bn tons of greenhouse gas was emitted in fiscal 2003, which was 8 % higher than in 1990, according to the preliminary data.

The emissions in fiscal 2003 are believed to have mainly resulted from increased power production by thermal power plants due to the suspension of nuclear reactors after a spate of safety scandals, and increased industrial production as the economy recovered, the ministry said.
The data will be reported to a subcommittee on global environment at the ministry's Central Environment Council.

Despite lower electricity demand in fiscal 2003 due to a relatively cool summer, carbon dioxide, or CO2, emissions from power generation actually increased because of dependence on thermal power plants after Tokyo Electric Power shut down its nuclear reactors for a long period of time for safety inspections.
The increase in industrial production such as digital home appliances and steel spurred by the economic recovery also contributed to the greenhouse gas emissions, the ministry said.

In hopes of curbing CO2 emissions to meet Japan's protocol obligation, the ministry announced the same day a plan to introduce an environment tax, in which each household will pay an average 3,000 yen a year, or about 250 yen a month, for consumption of gasoline, gas, coal and other types of fossil fuels.
The Kyoto Protocol to curb global warming will take effect in February after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the pact to complete his country's ratification of it.

Since the global warming effect of each of the six greenhouse gases, including CO2 and methane, differs from one to another, the emissions tonnage was calculated by converting figures for all non-CO2 gases into their CO2 equivalents.
CO2 accounts for more than 90 % of greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Kyodo
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