Japan to remap climate plans to reach Kyoto goal

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TOKYO, Oct 2 (Reuters) Japan will draw up new measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by next March in an attempt to meet its targets under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, a top official said today.

Japan, home to the ancient city that gave its name to the Kyoto Protocol, has proposed halving global emissions by 2050, but is struggling to meet its own target of cutting emissions from 1990 levels by 6 per cent over the 2008-2012 period.

After a meeting of top officials including Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Japan's top government spokesman said current plans to fight global warming would be revised, with new steps to be mapped out for sectors such as households and industry.

''It is looking very difficult to reach the Kyoto Protocol's 6 per cent reduction target based solely on the plans already in place,'' Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told a news conference.

Japan's emissions were 14 percent above the Kyoto goal as of March 2006. An advisory panel forecast in August that emissions would continue to rise over the next few years.

Of particular concern are emissions from households and offices, although the government has been trying to raise public consciousness to cut back on energy use.

Analysts say Japan may also need to resort to placing mandatory caps on industrial emissions, as in Europe, but the idea has met strong opposition from business groups.

Reuters SZ DB1258

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