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Friday, April 13, 2012

25% CO₂ cut possible without reactors: panel


An Environment Ministry panel has stated in a draft report that Japan can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030 without relying on nuclear power.

The potential reduction from 1990 levels would hinge on greater efforts to conserve energy and adopt renewable sources, ministry officials said Thursday.

The panel also said the cuts could be as high as 33 percent if nuclear only accounts for 20 percent of the power supply in 2030.

The projections by the panel under the Central Environment Council contrast with those approved Wednesday by the trade ministry's Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy, which predicts carbon dioxide cuts of just 16 percent in 2030 if the nation's reactors stay offline.

Japan has made international pledges to reduce heat-trapping gas emissions by 25 percent in 2020, a target some critics say is now too difficult in light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Energy and Environment Council is expected to draw up a final strategy by this summer based on those calculations.

The draft was based on calculations by the National Institute for Environmental Studies under four scenarios with nuclear accounting for between zero and 35 percent of power supply.

Until the Fukushima disaster, Japan was banking on nuclear power to meet its cutback pledge.

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