Japan Repudiates Greenhouse Gas Cuts

Published November 18, 2013

Japanese officials have announced the nation is going back on a pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Japan had previously pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. Japanese officials now say they will commit to a modest 3-percent rise in emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. 

Delegates at a United Nations climate conference in Warsaw, Poland, criticized Japan’s announcement. China, which emits more carbon dioxide than any other nation and refuses to accept any limits on its rapidly accelerating emissions, was particularly critical of Japan’s announcement.

“I have no way of describing my dismay,” said Chinese climate negotiator Su Wei.

Chinese emissions have more than quadrupled since 1990 and Chinese emissions continue to grow by approximately 10 percent every year. China is by itself responsible for more than half of the increase in global carbon dioxide emissions since 1990.

A Reuters news story filed from Warsaw noted Japan’s announcement “added to gloom at the Warsaw talks, where no major countries have announced more ambitious goals to cut emissions.”