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Japan Can Cut Emissions 15% by 2020

japangreendealJapan’s environment minister said in an interview with the Asahi daily that cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 15 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels was possible, and 25 percent was achievable if emissions credits were purchased from abroad, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Taro Aso will make a decision on Japan’s official targets on midterm emissions cuts by mid-June, ahead of negotiations on a new international global warming pact in December, reports Reuters. The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

Japan’s recently announced new “Green New Deal” policies are aimed at expanding Japan’s environmental conservation markets and building a society where environmental policies don’t hinder economic growth, reports The Japan Times.

The Green New Deal strategy, officially unveiled by Environment Minister Tetsuo Saito on April 20, is designed to expand Japan’s environmental market 1.7-fold from the 2006 level by 2020 and double employment in the market to 2.8 million.

The proposal also cites Prime Minister Aso’s pledge to boost Japan’s solar power output capacity 20-fold by 2020, according to The Japan Times. Japan recently announced that its subsidies for home solar panels appealed to fewer applicants than planned, although greater spending on solar power systems is expected to be a key feature of Japan’s new stimulus plan, with fiscal spending of up to $150 billion.

The new green strategy also promotes energy-saving home appliances, next-generation electric vehicles, energy-efficient houses and the development of renewable energy technologies together with eco reform in cities and transportation.

Japan aims to lead negotiations at key U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen in December, which will set the framework for a pact to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, according to The Japan Times.

Japan and the European Union recently joined forces in the battle against climate change and invited large countries, including the United States, China and Russia, to follow suit at a recent summit meeting in Prague.

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