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Japan looks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25%(Mainichi)

ondankaimg_08cad51c53c693b052a71bf89878dbb776114TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan is planning to set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by fiscal 2030 as part of efforts to reach a new international agreement to tackle climate change at the end of the year, government sources said Friday.

But the level is lower than targets proposed by other major industrialized countries and regions. The European Union has set its reduction goal at 40 percent compared with 1990 emissions levels.

Japan, the fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, has yet to decide on which year it should set as the benchmark year. The reduction target would be over 25 percent if the base year is to be set in fiscal 2005, and nearly 26 percent in case of fiscal 2013.

However, the new target would only represent a reduction of around 18 percent compared with the Kyoto Protocol base year of fiscal 1990. The protocol works as the current international framework for fighting global warming.

Global efforts are under way to create a new framework at the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP21, to be held in Paris in November and December. The deal would replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Japan aims to present its numerical goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in time for a summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations planned for June in Germany.

Countries were requested to submit new targets by the end of March, but Japan is lagging behind amid uncertainty over its future energy policy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that brought all of the country’s nuclear reactors offline by the end of September 2013.

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