Japan meets Kyoto pact goal through 8.2% emissions cut

Japan achieved an 8.2 percent cut in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the period of fiscal 2008 to 2012 from fiscal 1990 levels, meeting a 6 percent target under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on curbing global warming, Japanese government sources said Saturday.

The preliminary figure shows Tokyo managed to fulfill its obligation during the first commitment period under the Kyoto pact due to a plunge in emissions in fiscal 2009 caused by a global financial crisis as well as forest absorption and the country's purchase of emissions credits from overseas, the sources said.

Japanese Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara is set to announce the nation's achievement of the 6 percent cut target at the ongoing U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, they said.

However, greenhouse gas emissions in Japan have been on the rise since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, which left most of the country's nuclear power plants offline and increased operations of thermal power plants.

Tokyo has decided not to join an eight-year second commitment period from 2013 for the Kyoto Protocol, saying the framework lacks effectiveness as major gas-emitting countries such as the United States and China are not part of the reduction efforts.

On Friday, the Japanese government set a new target of slashing the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 percent in fiscal 2020 from fiscal 2005 levels, assuming nuclear power plants in the country remain offline.

But the revised goal has immediately drawn international criticism as it represents an increase of about 3 percent in emissions from the Kyoto Protocol base year of fiscal 1990.