February 13, 2005

GOING GREENLY:

Japan fears 'Kyoto effect' on its economy: Greenhouse gas control treaty could smother 10-year recovery (Straits Times, 2/14/05)

THE Kyoto Protocol takes effect this week but Japan, where the landmark environment treaty was sealed, is not fully prepared, its industry scared that a push to cut pollution will set back economic recovery.

The treaty aimed at curbing global warming - signed in 1997 in Japan's former capital, Kyoto - obliges the world's second-largest economy to cut 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 6 per cent within a timeframe of 2008 to 2012.

But 11 of Japan's 30 industry sectors, including steel and power, risk failing to meet their self-imposed targets in cutting carbon dioxide emissions, a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) study revealed this month.

It found that Japan's emissions were going up as the economy expanded from a 10-year slump.

The survey has led the powerful trade ministry to reopen talk of imposing government, rather than voluntary, targets on emissions with taxes to coax violators - an idea opposed by big business.


Plenty of governments have destroyed their own economies, but rather few have done so intentionally.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2005 11:50 PM
Comments

The Japanese, who still have an economy dominated by the export of manufactured goods, are far more affected by global warming claptrap than we are. The economy expands and emissions go up, whouda thunk it?

Japanese voters have not seen their quality of life improve in over a decade. They also have the stories of their grandparents who were raised on a diet of fish heads and rice. The fear of returning to that darker age is a powerful force for dispensing with ideology.

Posted by: Bart at February 14, 2005 7:25 AM

Well that didn't take long. Japan was the only significant "polluter" expected to take a run at meeting its obligations under the treaty. They're signalling that they are not that foolish.

Posted by: curt at February 14, 2005 9:12 AM
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