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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 January 23 - 29  > Fukuda’s Davos speech fails to mention numerical targets to prevent global warming
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2008 January 23 - 29 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Fukuda’s Davos speech fails to mention numerical targets to prevent global warming

January 27, 2008
Fukuda’s proposal is based on the Japanese government approach that counts on the industrial sector’s voluntary efforts. Fukuda is attempting to have this method adopted as a global method.

In his policy speech in the Diet on January 18, Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo expressed his willingness to play a leadership role on the issue of global warming.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, however, he only called for targets to be set for quantified national greenhouse gas emission cuts for the period after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. He stopped short of stating a target to be imposed on Japan or a global midterm goal to be achieved by 2020 to prevent global warming.

The IPCC last year confirmed that it is necessary to hold the rise in temperature within 2 degrees Celsius from the levels before the industrialization in order to avoid a catastrophic impact from global warming. It also demanded that all industrialized countries achieve the goal of 10-40 percent cuts below the 1990 levels by 2020.

At the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia in December 2007, Japan joined with the United States and Canada in opposing the proposal for setting the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40 percent from the 1990 levels by 2020. This proposal was thus not included in the final document.

European nations have successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting midterm targets in an effort to substantially cut emissions. They have already set a new target of a 20 percent cut below the 1990 levels by 2020 by requiring each nation to set a national numerical goal.

Fukuda’s proposal is a “bottom up” approach in which each country will accumulate possible cuts to be tallied for a national goal. It is based on the Japanese government approach that counts on the industrial sector’s voluntary efforts. Fukuda is attempting to have this method adopted as a global method.

Fukuda’s attitude is one of abandoning the approach set by the Kyoto Protocol that requires each country as well as the whole world to set quantifiable reduction goals.

Fukuda can’t play a leadership role on the global warming issue if he continues to make proposals that only please the U.S. Bush administration and Japanese large corporations.
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