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Japan Likely To Backpedal On CO2 Emissions Cuts


Japan may backpedal on its pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter, an official said Wednesday, dealing a further blow to already deadlocked global warming talks in Doha.

Tokyo in 2009 promised it would slash its planet-warming emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by the start of next decade — provided other major polluters such as China and the United States also make sharp reductions.

The target was one of the most ambitious of any industrialised country and won plaudits from environmentalists.

But officials say with a huge rise in the use of fossil fuels since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima put Tokyo’s atomic energy programme on hold, the pledge will be difficult to fulfil.

“Japan is discussing how to achieve its pledge of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, including the possibility of revising it,” Shuichiro Niihara, an official at Japan’s environment ministry, told AFP.

“The goal was set before the nuclear accident last year, but even with nuclear power generation, it was going to be very difficult to realise,” he said.

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