• Kyodo News


Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday caution should be used when setting new numerical targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and repeated that there needs to be a new, more effective climate change framework to fight global warming.

Aso told a news conference that opinions are divided on the setting of numerical targets and the issue is how to get a successor framework that will include large greenhouse gas emitters such as the United States, China and India.

“The United States, China, India and other developing countries have overwhelmingly large greenhouse gas emissions and yet they are not part of the Kyoto Protocol framework. The next time (we create a framework), this must be resolved,” he said.

“Irrespective of whether (numerical targets) are or are not included, the (new) framework must be such that gas emitters, including (the U.S., China and India), would be able to join.”

Consultations are currently under way to prepare a statement the Group of Eight will release during their meeting next month in Heiligendamm, Germany. The G8 countries are discussing whether to set numerical targets beyond the Kyoto Protocol.

The U.S. is proposing the G8 strike out several numerical goals in the statement, including a 50 percent emissions cut by 2050.

The United States’ proposal also strikes out a line that says, “We are committed to taking strong and early action to tackle climate change in order to contribute our fair share to limit global warming to 2 C,” according to a copy of the draft.

The Kyoto Protocol, formulated in 1997 under a U.N. framework, requires its signatories, including Japan, to cut their greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by an average of 5.2 percent by 2012.

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