Japan’s next PM vows 25% greenhouse gas cut by 2020

Japan’s next PM vows 25% greenhouse gas cut by 2020

Tokyo: Japan’s next Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, said Monday his incoming centre-left government would pursue a greenhouse gas reduction target of 25% from 1990 levels by 2020.

“As a mid-term goal, we aim at a 25% reduction by 2020 from 1990, based on the levels demanded by science to stop global warming," said Hatoyama, who is due to take over as Prime Minister on 16 September.

Outgoing Prime Minister Taro Aso in June announced a far lower greenhouse gas reduction target, equivalent to eight percent from 1990 levels by 2020, earning criticism from environmental groups.

Japan would present its target at international talks in Copenhagen in December aimed at agreeing a follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

Japan is the world’s number two economy and the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases which are blamed for raising global temperatures, melting the earth’s ice caps and glaciers, and changing weather patterns.