The nation can cut its greenhouse gas output by 2 percent with the introduction of a carbon dioxide emissions tax, an environment committee said in an interim report released Wednesday.

The committee under the Central Environment Council said that the 2 percent cut by 2010 from 1990 levels is achievable if a tax of 30,000 yen per ton of carbon emitted were introduced.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Japan is required to cut greenhouse gas emissions 6 percent from 1990 levels by 2012.

The government said earlier it will achieve 0.5 percent of the 6 percent requirement by cutting gas emissions and the rest by forest absorption and other measures, but the report says a gas emission cut of more than 0.5 percent is possible.

The report, calculating the gas emission cut using six simulation models, said a 2 percent cut in such gases can be achieved when a tax system imposing 13,000 yen to 35,000 yen in taxes per ton of carbon emitted is introduced. However, the report added that such a model would shave between 0.06 percent and 0.72 percent off gross domestic product.

The report also said it is possible to cut gas emissions by between 4 percent to 12 percent by 2010 by introducing a number of energy conservation technologies in various fields.

It also said a 2 percent gas emission cut is possible by expending some 11,000 yen per ton of carbon.

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