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Japan Halts Launch Of Emissions Trading System

December 29, 2010

The Japanese government decided Tuesday to put off the creation of a greenhouse gas emissions trading system until after the fiscal year 2013 in the face of strong resistance from the business world, a move that bodes ill for the country’s efforts to combat global warming.

The center-left government of Prime Minister Naoto Kan had planned to launch the system — in which companies would essentially buy and sell ‘licenses to pollute’ — starting in April 2013.

But his environment and other ministers decided to postpone the plan, saying the country will first “carefully consider it,” Jiji Press and Kyodo News reported. Immediate confirmation was not available.

Under the planned emissions trading system, each company would be given an emissions quota, and firms that emitted greenhouse gases in excess of their quota would have to purchase credits from other firms that are below their limit. However, this has fanned fears that the system could increase the burden on companies.

Japan has long championed the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, named after its ancient capital.

While the U.S. has rejected the treaty, China Japan has long championed the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, named after its ancient capital.

Most scientists say the world is far off track on meeting a goal, codified at the UN climate talks in Mexico, of keeping temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.




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