Group forms to cut carbon dioxide emissions

An international group of local governments was launched Jan. 29 in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture, in a bid to cut carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent to help prevent global warming.The group, named “20 Percent Club for Sustainable Cities,” was founded by 27 local governments here and 22 overseas. Members will exchange environmental information and carry out joint research projects for establishing guidelines for assessing the efficacy of energy-saving measures. They also plan to promote international cooperation among local governments and ties with international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Program, the organizers said.As for specific goals, the Gunma prefectural government is seeking to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the prefecture by 20 percent per person by 2005. The Kanagawa prefectural government plans to increase its share of low-pollution vehicles over five years until they account for 20 percent of all its fleet.The club was inaugurated during a world conference of local governments in 1995. Member nations discussed its charter and other details during the Hayama conference.