Japan sticks to 25 percent carbon cut target
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has stuck to its offer to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 for a U.N. accord on condition major emitters agree on an ambitious climate deal, a statement from the foreign ministry showed on Tuesday.
The target, based on 1990 levels, was submitted on Tuesday to the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat under a climate accord worked out by major emitters led by China and the United States last month in Copenhagen.
The accord said rich nations should submit by January 31 targets for cuts in emissions by 2020 and for developing nations to outline actions for slowing the rise of emissions to help avert heatwaves, sandstorms, floods and rising sea levels.
"I hope that all countries will submit (a target), but ... what's important in order to cut CO2 and to stop global warming is for the United States and China, the greatest emitters, to submit this," environment minister Sakihito Ozawa was quoted by a ministry official as saying in a news conference.
Japan had hoped to play a big negotiating role at the climate talks in December with its target, so big emitters such as the United States, China and India join a new pact that goes beyond 2012, when the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol ends.
But the Copenhagen talks ended with a weak deal. The meeting failed to adopt the Copenhagen Accord to curb climate change after opposition from Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Sudan, meaning the conference merely "took note" of the plan.
China, India, Brazil and South Africa promised on Sunday to submit their own climate action plans to the United Nations by January 31.
Experts say the total cuts offered by rich countries at the talks amounted to no more than 18 percent and fall far short of the 25-40 percent U.N. scientists consider necessary to avert dangerous climate change.
(Reporting by Chisa Fujioka and Yoko Kubota; Editing by Jerry Norton)
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