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Japan may meet Kyoto emissions cut target, ministry estimates

Japan is on target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated average of 8 per cent for the five years ending in March, meaning it will meet commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the environment ministry estimated.

Kyoto’s binding obligations limiting the release of emissions among industrial nations stipulate Japan must cut greenhouse gas output by 6 per cent from 1990 levels for fiscal 2008-2012. Emissions are projected to be 1.277 billion metric tons for fiscal 2011 and 1.316 billion tons in the twelve months ending March 31, 2013, Kentaro Doi, a ministry official in charge of emissions data, said by phone today.

After taking into account the absorption of carbon dioxide by forests and credits earned for offsets outside the country, Japan’s emissions are projected to be an average of 8 per cent below 1990 levels, Doi said.

The internal estimates were produced by the ministry after the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan, released an energy demand outlook in July, he said. The ministry’s estimates were earlier reported by the Yomiuri newspaper.

Greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase this fiscal year from the previous 12 months following the wider use of fossil fuels after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the official said, adding that an increase in economic activity also boosted energy demand.

“We will keep implementing renewable energy and energy- saving measures as we still have six more months to go” before the fiscal year ends, Doi said.

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