Japan to set national greenhouse gas emissions reduction target

The Japanese government is making final arrangements to set a national greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2020 at a 14 percent decline from 2005 levels before Prime Minister Taro Aso announces his decision on Wednesday, government sources have said.

While a cut of 14 percent is not considered a sharp reduction from a global perspective, the government is expected to stress that the target is ambitious because the figure does not take into account CO2 cuts that can be achieved through forest absorption of carbon dioxide and CO2 emissions trading, although some other countries incorporate them in calculating their targets.

But some government officials and the New Komeito party, the junior coalition partner of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, still want Aso to make a decision to raise the target in order to promote Japanese leadership in global negotiations on climate change.

A reduction of 14 percent for 2020 from 2005 levels translates into a 7 percent cut from 1990 levels for Japan, which saw a sharp rise in its greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2005.

In a news conference scheduled for today, Aso will seek to publicize Japan's global contributions by announcing that it will provide energy-saving technologies to developing countries as part of the country's efforts to tackle global warming, the sources said.

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