Japan to promote new framework for pursuing greenhouse gas cuts

The Japanese government has decided to promote a new framework for pursuing cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, under which Japan will claim reductions achieved in emerging countries in Asia and Africa as a result of technical assistance provided by Japan, sources close to the issue said Sunday.

The move comes as Japan faces difficulties in reducing greenhouse gas emissions domestically due to a major expansion in thermal power generation following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi complex.

The crisis, triggered by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, has led to the idling of almost all of Japan's 50 operable nuclear reactors that previously provided almost a third of Japan's electric power.

The government will hold the first meeting of a panel to go ahead with the system, known as the bilateral offset credit mechanism, shortly after Japan's Golden Week holidays through Monday, to include it in its growth strategy to be compiled by June, the sources said.

The panel will consist of officials of the environment, foreign and industry ministries, and from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Under the new system, it will be easier to promote the transfer of greenhouse gas emission rights than under the existing multilateral framework, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Japan will provide environmental technologies in various fields, such as coal-fired power generation and energy-saving houses, and emerging countries will be able to obtain new technologies to deal with growing energy demand and knowhow to address global warming, the source said.

Japan plans to start promoting the new system during the current fiscal year by accelerating talks for that purpose with emerging countries in Asia and Africa, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenya and Ethiopia, according to the sources.