A governmental panel in Japan has approved a plan to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that will rely heavily on sinks, renewable energy and energy-efficiency. The plan will now go to consultation before the government votes on it in a month’s time. The plan aims to lower emissions from cars, buildings and factories over the next five years through increased energy efficiency and more use of renewables, reported Associated Press. It also focuses on forests and tree-planting projects for emissions reductions.
Japanese companies have so far opposed all mandatory initiatives from the government, and this is the case with this plan as well, according to AP, as it proposes to impose industrial pollution caps and potentially tax polluters starting as soon as 2006. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was also sceptical towards introducing such a tax, thus it is put forth as an "issue to be considered comprehensively and sincerely".
According to the Kyoto Protocol Japan must reduce its GHG emissions by six per cent from 1990 to end-2008. Instead emissions have increased with approximately the same amount, making Kyoto compliance a seriously difficult task for Japan.