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G8 to support sectoral approach to emissions

Kyodo News

Group of Eight leaders plan to back Japans’ proposal for a sector-by-sector approach to slashing greenhouse gas emissions in a chairman’s summary to be issued after the July 7-9 summit in Hokkaido, according to diplomatic sources.

The G8 leaders are expected to agree that the approach is “useful” or “important” for setting quantified national targets to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, the sources said over the weekend.

The sectoral approach has drawn a certain amount of support from emerging countries such as China and India. Germany has also become tolerant of it despite initial reluctance.

With G8 support in sight, it is highly likely that countries will adopt the approach to calculate their emissions reduction potential as part of bottom-up efforts to craft a new carbon-capping framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

However, the European Union may seek some conditions for approval of the approach because there are persistent views in the 27-nation bloc that tallying up countries’ emissions reduction potential alone will not be enough to meet the levels required to curb global warming.

In an effort to lead U.N. negotiations for a post-Kyoto framework, the EU has committed itself to cuts of 20 percent to 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, making it the only developed economy to have set a medium-term target.

At a high-level U.N. climate change meeting last December in Bali, around 190 countries agreed to conclude two years of global talks for a post-2012 regime at key U.N. climate talks in December 2009.

Using energy efficiency in each sector as a yardstick, the sectoral approach involves determining potential reduction volumes on an industry-by-industry, area-by-area basis.