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Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009

Fukuyama optimistic emissions deal within reach

Staff writer

KYOTO — Last week's announcement by President Barack Obama that the United States would pursue a 17 percent cut in greenhouse gases compared to 2005, followed by China's announcement of its own emissions reductions target, are positive signs that an agreement will be reached at next month's Copenhagen conference, Vice Foreign Minister Tetsuro Fukuyama said Saturday.

China announced that it would reduce its greenhouse gases emitted per unit of gross domestic product by 40 percent to 45 percent, also by 2020.

"America and China have now made their positions clear, and their announced commitments are a good sign that an agreement can now be reached," Fukuyama said.

But he warned that the road to a final treaty on greenhouse gas emissions remains long.

"Will the Chinese accept the American commitment? Will America accept China's plan? Once we get to Copenhagen, things might change," he said. "Questions about financing, and especially how much money Japan, as a major player in the negotiations, can offer for climate change mitigation all still have to be decided as well."

Japan's commitment to a 25 percent cut by 2020, based on 1990 levels, is in line with what a 2007 report by the majority of climate scientists recommended.

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The Japan Times

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