Japan urges halving greenhouse gases

May 24, 2007 at 3:55 PM
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TOKYO, May 24 (UPI) -- Japan may replace the Kyoto protocol expiring in 2012 with a firmer target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2050.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set such a target for the entire world in a speech in Tokyo, the BBC reported Thursday. The target would actually be less demanding than plans proposed by some European nations, including Britain, the report said.

Abe was quoted as saying it is important to come up with a plan flexible enough even to the biggest polluters, such as China, India and the United States.

"We must create a new framework which moves beyond the Kyoto Protocol, in which the entire world will participate in emissions reduction," Abe said.

Noting different countries may need different approaches to tackle the problem, Abe said Japan would share its knowledge of how it has become the world's most energy efficient country. He said his country also would work with international lending institutions to find the funds to help poorer countries become energy efficient.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol calls on the 35 signatory nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent from 1990 levels by 2012, the BBC report said.

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