Japan confirms greenhouse gas emissions down 1.3 pct

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TOKYO, Nov 5 (Reuters) Japan's greenhouse gas emissions fell 1.3 percent in the year ended in March partly due to a warm winter, reversing an increase the previous year, the government said today, matching figures leaked to a newspaper last week.

Japan is the world's fifth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, behind the United States, China, India and Russia, and is the only one of these which is under pressure to meet a greenhouse gas emissions limit.

Preliminary Ministry of Environment data showed that the country's emissions of greenhouse gases were 1.341 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent in fiscal 2006/07. Emissions had risen by 0.2 per cent in the previous fiscal year.

The 2006/07 emissions, mostly CO2, exceeded the country's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, to be met by 2008-2012, by some 155 million tonnes a year.

Under Kyoto Japan has to cut emissions to 1.186 billion tonnes on average in the five years starting next year, down by 6 percent from 1.261 billion tonnes in the benchmark year of 1990.

Tokyo is expected to make up the difference and meet its goal set under the international treaty agreed in its own ancient capital of Kyoto. The government is now considering an additional policy initiative, to be drafted by December and finalised by next March, on how to cut emissions more.

REUTERS SZ KN0937

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