(AFP) – Sep 22, 2009
UNITED NATIONS — Japan's new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Tuesday pledged to world leaders to make sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and to step up aid to poor countries to combat climate change.
Hatoyama made the ambitious promise as he was making his global debut here following last week's inauguration of his government, which ended half a century of conservative rule in last month's election win.
"For its mid-term goal, Japan will aim to reduce its emissions by 25 percent by 2020 if compared to the 1990 level," Hatoyama told a climate change summit at the United Nations General Assembly.
Hatoyama said he aims to achieve the goal by "mobilizing all available policy tools," which may include the introduction of a domestic emission trading mechanism and a global warming tax.
The new target -- in line with what he promised during his election campaign -- is far more ambitious than the eight-percent reduction pledged by the former government under the business-friendly Liberal Democratic Party.
"Japan is prepared to provide more financial and technical assistance than in the past, in accordance with the progress of the international negotiations," he said.
"Public financial assistance and technology transfer to developing countries are critically important," he added.
Hatoyama named the pledge as a "Hatoyama Initiative" designed to improve the chances of the success of talks in Copenhagen in December aimed at agreeing on a follow-up treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, whose obligations expire in 2012.
In his speech, however, Hatoyama also urged developing countries to make "common but differentiated responsibilities" for reducing greenhouse gases.
"This is especially important for developing countries with large emissions," Hatoyama said in an apparent call on fast-growing Asian rivals such as China and India to follow suit.
Copyright © 2014 AFP. All rights reserved. More »