14 May 2010 13:46 CET
Japan’s ruling coalition today forced a key climate bill through a parliamentary committee.
However, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the biggest opposition party, is poised to submit a resolution calling for the dismissal of Shinji Tarutoko, a Lower House member of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), as chairman of the Environment Committee.
Despite strong objections from the opposition camp, the DPJ-led ruling coalition plans to vote the climate bill through the full Lower House on May 18 and send it to the Upper House.
The ruling coalition wants to have the bill enacted during the current 150-day ordinary parliamentary session, which is to close in mid-June.
The bill specifies a medium-term target of cutting Japan’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 from the 1990 level. It also specifies a long-term target of reducing Japan’s GHG emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 from the 1990 level.
The bill makes it clear, however, that the medium-term target is based on the premise that there will be an agreement on a “fair and effective” regime and “ambitious” targets involving all major emitting countries in negotiations on a new international framework to replace the Kyoto protocol, which is to expire in 2012.
The government of Prime Minister Hatoyama, who took office last September, has pledged to introduce a cap-and-trade system setting absolute volume caps on emissions in the world’s second-biggest economy and major GHG emitter.
But the government’s climate bill says that the government will set absolute volume caps “in principle” and consider energy efficiency-based volume caps, such as emissions per production unit, as well.
If energy efficiency-based volume caps are permitted, companies would be allowed to produce more GHGs in tandem with increased production volumes.
The bill specifies the need to enact necessary legislative measures for the introduction of the emissions trading system, within one year of the climate law becoming effective.
Two opposition parties - the LDP and Komeito – submitted their own climate bills to counter the government bill.
The former coalition partners were ousted from power in a general election last August, in which Hatoyama’s DPJ won a landslide victory.
The LDP has harshly criticised the government bill as “unrealistic” and “irresponsible.” The LDP’s bill specifies a target of cutting Japan’s GHG emissions by 15 per cent by 2020 from the 2005 level, which means a reduction of only 8 per cent from the 1990 level. This target was set by the former LDP-Komeito government of Prime Minister Taro Aso.
Komeito’s bill specifies the same 2020 GHG emission reduction target as the government bill’s medium-term target, but it does not make the target conditional on a new climate pact involving all major emitting countries.
By Hisane Masaki - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carta da Terra
"Estamos diante de um momento crítico na história da Terra, numa época em que a humanidade deve escolher o seu futuro. À medida que o mundo torna-se cada vez mais interdependente e frágil, o futuro enfrenta, ao mesmo tempo, grandes perigos e grandes promessas. Para seguir adiante, devemos reconhecer que, no meio da uma magnífica diversidade de culturas e formas de vida, somos uma família humana e uma comunidade terrestre com um destino comum. Devemos somar forças para gerar uma sociedade sustentável global baseada no respeito pela natureza, nos direitos humanos universais, na justiça econômica e numa cultura da paz. Para chegar a este propósito, é imperativo que nós, os povos da Terra, declaremos nossa responsabilidade uns para com os outros, com a grande comunidade da vida, e com as futuras gerações." (da CARTA DA TERRA)