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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Keidanren panned over climate plan

Staff writer

Climate conservation proposals by big business in Japan are out of step with international efforts to curb global warming, Danish Minister for Climate and Energy Connie Hedegaard said Monday in Tokyo.

The government has come up with six numerical targets for 2020 on cutting the nation's greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from a 4 percent increase to a 25 percent decrease from 1990 levels. Tokyo is expected to officially announce the midterm targets next month.

"The cheap way out will be an expensive solution later," Hedegaard said at the Japan National Press Club, referring to the 4 percent increase goal endorsed by the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren).

That plan "is not possible in the world of the 21st century," she said.

Speaking ahead of the U.N. environment summit in December in Copenhagen, Hedegaard stressed that Japan must come up with an ambitious target that would motivate other countries to reduce their carbon emissions. Tokyo's actions can pressure Beijing into enhancing their efforts to fight global warming, she said.

The meeting in December is scheduled to conclude the talks on a framework that would succeed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Japan has no excuse to "lean back" because of its world-leading energy efficiency, Hedegaard said, but instead must make a positive push by proposing a substantial reduction target.

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The Japan Times

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