The Tokyo skyline tells its own story: Japan is the world’s fifth biggest greenhouse gas emitter. But that picture could change dramatically for the better.
Japanese Prime Minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama says he wants an ambitious cut of 25 percent in emissions by the year 2020, compared with 1990 levels. In a speech to a symposium on climate change in Tokyo, Hatoyama stressed that an agreement by all major countries is a central condition for Japan’s promise to reduce pollution massively. He says his government will aim to create an international framework that is fair and effective. Japan is under pressure for tougher climate policies after a rise in its emissions that put the country 16 percent above its Kyoto Protocol target. Hatoyama has also called on industrialised countries to provide financial and technological support for developing nations intent on reducing emissions. Calling Hatoyama’s new commitment “laudable”, the UN’s climate change body says it will also spur change in Japan’s economy.