Japan Ministers Approve Plan for 26% Cut to Greenhouse Gases

(Bloomberg) — Cabinet ministers in Japan approved a plan

to reduce greenhouse gases by 26 percent by 2030, a goal already

criticized by environmental groups as too timid and

statistically unsound.

The cuts, first unveiled in a draft in April, will use 2013

as a baseline. Acceptance of the draft report was announced by

Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki Tuesday in Tokyo. Final

approval will be sought after public comment.

Adopting 2013 as a starting point is contentious because

it’s a year when Japan recorded its second-highest emissions

level ever as it burned more fossil fuels to replace nuclear

power lost after the Fukushima meltdown.

“We know there are various opinions,” Mochizuki told

reporters. “We will explain our target to other countries to

gain their understanding.”

Were Japan to use 1990 or 2005, the base years for other

nations, it would leave the nation trailing the pack of richer

industrial nations working to rein in the pollution blamed for

global warming.

Japan aims to submit its pledges to the United Nations by

the end of July, according to Hiroaki Takiguchi, a ministry

official in charge of climate change.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at

cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Jason Rogers at

jrogers73@bloomberg.net

Iain Wilson

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