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Japan counts the cost of going green

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Y. Sulaiman, eTN Malaysia  Mar 28, 2008

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has forecast
Japanese households and businesses will face a bill of US$500 billion
over the next decade if it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by
11 percent, according to latest reports.

Still, it would only represent a 4 percent reduction from 2012 levels
which Japan has committed itself. Under the Kyoto global warming pact,
Japan has agreed to cut greenhouse emissions by 6 percent. under 1990
levels by 2012.

The forecast estimates Japanese households will spend an equivalent of
US$258 billion towards the cost of installing solar panels and buying
energy efficient appliances and automobiles. Presently an average
Japanese households spends about US$400 annually.

Japanese industry, meanwhile, will face a bill of $269 billion
towards the cost of switching to more energy efficient technology,
including the cost of switching to "clean -burning" cars and building
nuclear plants.

"Japan will be spending a lot of money for so little gain, " said a
commentator on the financial commitments.

However, under the proposal to introduce "carbon credits" on the open
market, Japan can resort to "buy" such credits to solve part of its
carbon emission difficulties.

Japan has been at the forefront of a global goal of cutting emissions
by 50 percent by the year 2050, on expiry of the present Kyoto

"Climate change is a threat to humanity as a whole," said United
Nations Development Program (UNDP ) Administrator, Kemal Dervis. It is
the poor who face the immediate and most severe human costs."

In its report, "Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity In a Divided
World" UNDP warned the impact of climate change could bring
"unprecedented" reversals in poverty reduction, nutrition, health and
education. "The world's poorest countries face malnutrition, water
scarcity, ecological threats and the loss of livelihoods."

The Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012, was negotiated in Japan in
1997, committing 36 industrialized nations to cut greenhouse emissions
on average of 5 percent below 1990 levels between 2008-2012.

Japan counts the cost of going green

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