A government task force on global warming unveiled guidelines Friday calling for promotion of nuclear energy as well as daylight-saving time as part of efforts to reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The guidelines, announced at the task force’s meeting Friday, are designed to provide specific measures for implementing Japan’s 6 percent emissions reduction target adopted at the U.N.-sponsored Kyoto climate change conference last December.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, Japan has agreed to curb emissions by 6 percent from their 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. The task force, set up in January and consisting of top officials from 16 ministries and agencies, will soon urge the government to follow the guidelines, Environment Agency officials said.
Friday’s guidelines target six greenhouse gases to be reduced under the protocol by various ways of energy conservation.
As for carbon dioxide, nitrous dioxide and methane, Japan should attain a 2.5 percent cut by around 2010 from their 1990 levels, while an increase in hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride by then should be no more than 2 percent, according to the guidelines.
By counting “sink gases” — the amount absorbed by photosynthesis in forests — the country is expected to further reduce emissions by 3.7 percent, the guidelines say.
Because counting methods for sink gases are still being debated at the international level, however, the figure for sink gases is subject to change, agency officials said.
To implement such reductions, the guidelines say the number and output of nuclear reactors in use should be increased on condition that the government ensures they function safely. In this manner, the total amount of electricity to be generated in fiscal 2010 is expected to increase by 50 percent from fiscal 1997, the guidelines say.
It is not clear at this moment, however, if these measures could really achieve the 6 percent reduction target. Agency officials said the guideline will be reviewed every year.
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