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PM: Japan aims 15% emission cut for 2020 from 2005

2009-06-11 11:48 BJT

TOKYO, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso announced Wednesday a 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels as Japan's midterm target for 2020.

Aso told a televised press conference the target is "extremely ambitious" as the figure does not take into account emission cuts that can be achieved through forest absorption of CO2 and emissions trading overseas.

"The target exceeds the midterm targets of Europe, which stands at a 13 percent reduction from the 2005 level, and that of the Obama administration of the U.S., which is a 14 percent reduction from the same year," he said.

The 15 percent reduction is equivalent to 8 percent cut from the levels in 1990 -- the benchmark used in the U.N. negotiations. Japan has seen a steep rise in emissions from 1990 to 2005.

Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Japan agreed to curb emissions of greenhouse gases by six percent by the end of 2012 over 1990 levels.

The target is bigger than a previously reported target of a 14 percent reduction, but still fall short of the expectation of environmental groups and many other countries, which believed the goal is too mild compared with the European Union's slash.

The European Union has said it would cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels, or by 30 percent if others set similar goals. But its emission has been gradually going down since 1990.

The target of United States, unbound by the Kyoto Protocol, would mean almost no emission cuts from its 1990 levels.