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The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Japanese government will propose a massive reduction in CO2 emissions in advanced nations to levels 25%  of those in 2002 by 2050. The government will make the proposal in the long-term energy policy outlines to be compiled later this year.

According to the sources, the government is to announce interim policy outlines soon and to finalize them in August. The outlines split energy consumption into four areas: industry, household and other civil use, transportation, and electrical power. According to the yet-to-be-published outlines, within the categories, oil consumption in all areas except for transportation will be almost zero by 2050. By 2100, although natural gas will remain as an energy source for industry and transport, most energy consumption will be met by renewable energy sources such as nuclear power, hydrogen energy and solar energy.

To achieve these goals, the government proposes that the nation engage in research and development of new technologies in three areas—nuclear power, including establishing reprocessing of nuclear fuel and total control over the nuclear fuel cycle; carbon sequestration technology to place CO2 underground, and developing renewable energy sources such as hydrogen or solar power as well as energy-saving technology.

However, CO2 emissions in Japan are currently rising.

CO2 emissions from the ten largest industries in Japan increased by 0.9 per cent in 2003, putting emissions 0.3 per cent above 1990 levels.

Factories, power plants and other facilities run by member firms of Nippon Keidanren, the nation’s most influential business lobby, managed to cut emissions below the 1990 level in fiscal 2003, but CO2 emissions from houses, offices and vehicles jumped 20 per cent.


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