• Kyodo News

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Switching to energy-saving electrical appliances can reduce household emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 40 percent, according to the 2007 white paper on the environment, which was released Tuesday.

The report on the environment and a recycling society, approved by the Cabinet, emphasizes the importance of developing and popularizing energy-saving technology. It comes shortly after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his environmental initiative for the upcoming Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm, Germany.

Abe’s “Earth in the year 2050” initiative calls for balancing economic growth with environmental protection and a nationwide movement to reduce greenhouse gases.

The white paper expresses a strong sense of urgency about speeding up measures against global warming and calls for developing energy-saving technologies, including high-performance fuel-cell batteries, to help commercialize electric cars.

The report also emphasizes the need to apply existing energy-saving technologies to “every corner” of society.

For example, if all home appliances wear out simultaneously, a family of four can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 44 percent by introducing energy-saving models. The report says a married couple without children can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 42 percent.

If two singles marry and form a household, the switch to an energy-saving model will still reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 8 percent, it adds.

The report says recycling technologies will help cut carbon dioxide emissions by reducing the amount of newly consumed natural resources. It proposes that Japan play a key role in spurring international cooperation in this field by providing knowhow as waste continues to increase across Asia.

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