The House of Councilors unanimously resolved in a plenary session Wednesday to strive for international agreement on ratifying the 1997 Kyoto Protocol aimed at curbing global warming.
The nonpartisan resolution was proposed to support Environment Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, who will leave today for the United States to urge Washington to honor its commitment to the pact.
Kawaguchi also told the session she is prepared for the resumption of the sixth Conference of Parties (COP6) to the U.N. Framework Convention in Bonn, Germany, in July.
“I will do my best” in negotiating international agreements, she said.
A similar resolution was expected to be adopted by the Lower House today.
The Upper House resolution states that the chamber “deeply regrets the withdrawal of the U.S. (George W.) Bush administration from the Kyoto Protocol” and “urges the U.S., as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, to carry on its participation in negotiations over the Kyoto Protocol.”
The resolution also calls on Japan to exercise leadership in the international community in putting the Kyoto Protocol into effect by 2002 , and to take the lead in ratifying the accord and building a national system to curb global warming.
The protocol, negotiated and signed in Kyoto in December 1997, requires industrialized countries to impose binding limits on emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Scientists believe the gases are causing significant changes in the Earth’s climate.
The protocol obliges Japan to cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
The protocol was adopted by some 160 countries during the third Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP3) in Kyoto in December 1997.
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