ABC Online, Posted Mon Jun 9, 2008 7:46pm AEST
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has announced Japan will aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050 from current levels and launch an experimental carbon market.
He said Japan would next year also set a mid-term target - the topic of ongoing international negotiations - for slashing emissions after the Kyoto Protocol's obligations for rich nations run out in 2012.
"Japan as a nation will try to establish a low-carbon society that we can be proud of," Mr Fukuda told a news conference.
The plan is based on current levels, not 1990, which was the base year for the Kyoto Protocol.
Japan is far behind in meeting its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol as its economy gradually recovers from recession.
In a bid to help Japan comply, Mr Fukuda said Japan would start a so-called "cap-and-trade" system on a trial basis.
A cap-and-trade system mandates cuts in greenhouse gas output and creates an economic incentive for businesses by letting them trade emissions credits.
"We will start the implementation of a cap-and-trade system in the domestic integrated market on an experimental basis by as early as this fall while calling for the participation of as many sectors and companies as possible," Mr Fukuda said.
Carbon trading has become a flourishing field, particularly in the European Union, which has championed the Kyoto Protocol and called for ambitious mid-term and long-term emission reduction targets.