The Dernogalizer

July 21, 2009

Japan might get new Leadership

Filed under: Energy/Climate — Matt Dernoga @ 1:06 am
Tags: , , ,

There’s an article in the Washington Post today about how Japan’s Prime Minister is dissolving parliament and calling elections on August 30.  There’s a real possibility that Japan’s current Liberal Democratic Party will lose to the Japanese Democratic Party.  Why is this relevant?  Well, one of the biggest dissapointments in international negotiations so far has been Japan’s unfortunate emissions target of 8% below 1990 levels and only 2% lower than their Kyoto target.

This begs the question, would a new party in control of Japan lead to a stronger stance on emissions targets, and help move talks forward?  The answer appears to be…yes! On paper anyways.  You never know what happens once a party actually gets into power.  However, compared to what Japan’s current leadership is committing to, I can’t imagine the replacement government could be much worse.  Now I realize that the US, China, and India are much bigger hindrances to a strong treaty in Copenhagen.  However, Japan is the world’s second largest economy, and a developed country.  A bold move by Japan could help ease the deadlock, and commit much needed funds to international adaptation and clean energy efforts.  China and Japan also have some ill will to each other, so Japan stepping up on their obligations could be meaningful.  I’m posting a couple excerpts on the positions of the Japanese Democratic Party below.  I’m also no expert on Japanese politics, so if anyone knows more than me, please chime in.

“Japan’s main opposition party will adopt bolder greenhouse gas cuts than the government by using the global emissions market and increasing green jobs if it wins an upcoming election, the party’s head of green policy said on Wednesday.”

“The country’s 2020 target to cut emissions by 15 percent below 2005 levels Aso announced in June provoked widespread criticism for being too weak and barely tougher than Japan’s current Kyoto target, which it has struggled to meet.”

“Tetsuro Fukuyama, also the Democrats’ deputy policy chief, said the party’s 2020 target to cut emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels would impose regulations to curb emissions and incentives for energy conservation, increased use of renewable energy and development of green technology.”

The minus 15 percent target versus 2005 is equivalent to a cut of only 8 percent below 1990 levels.

“It just doesn’t go far enough,” Fukuyama said. “How can they dare to persuade China and India with that number?”

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6 Comments »

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  4. […] in July, I made a post almost immediately after Japan’s prime minister decided to dissolve parliament, realizing […]

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  5. […] before Copenhagen which aspires to much stronger emissions targets than the current one.  The first explored the possibility of Japan’s current Liberal Democratic Party losing to the Japanese […]

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  6. […] before Copenhagen which aspires to much stronger emissions targets than the current one. The first explored the possibility of Japan’s current Liberal Democratic Party losing to the Japanese […]

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