Tokyo is considering ways to reflect in its 2020 greenhouse gas emission-cut goal the value of a global contribution to emissions cuts from Japan's energy-saving technology, a vice trade minister said on Friday.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is under pressure to say how he will keep a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020, a target which analysts say is too stringent to be met solely through domestic technology innovation.
We should somewhat refer to it as a way (to meet the 25 percent goal), Teruhiko Mashiko, senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry, said in an interview with Reuters. Mashiko is to join Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa in attending the Copenhagen climate talks, which are meant to agree on the outlines of a global pact beyond 2012.
Tokyo reiterated on Friday that it would keep its 2020 target, based on 1990 figures, provided all major emitters agreed with a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, whose first period ends in 2012.
Japan, the world's fifth-biggest emitter, had no plan to offer an alternative, watered-down pledge, Environment Minister Ozawa said at a news conference.
Mashiko's comments come as makers of energy-saving products such as LED bulbs, hybrid and electric cars and light and strong steel which such cars use, called for concessions on their CO2 emissions in a climate policy mix Tokyo is considering to deepen emission cuts beyond 2012.
Mashiko said he was aware of a paradox that the more energy-saving LED bulbs makers sell, for example, the more energy their factories use, thus producing CO2 emissions.
He also said the ministry aimed to turn the current feed in tariff scheme into a full-fledged one by November next year to bolster usage of renewable energy sources, resulting in more CO2 emission cuts.
Under the scheme launched last month, power firms buy at a higher rate surplus solar power produced by households.
(Reporting by Risa Maeda and Kentaro Hamada)