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Nikkei Analysis Finds Global Recession Significantly Cut CO2 Emissions By Auto, Steel Sectors in Japan

An analysis by the Nikkei found that carbon dioxide emissions by four Japanese steelmakers were down 11.1% last fiscal year from fiscal 1990, while those from five automakers were 39% lower.

Major blast furnace steelmakers sharply reduced greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal 2008. The reductions provide a boost to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s pledge to slash Japanese greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. But the progress is due largely to the sluggish economy, underscoring the difficulty of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining economic growth.

The sharp decrease in emissions by the five automakers—Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.—appears directly linked to domestic output shrinking 17% last fiscal year.

Separately, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation reported that Japan’s crude steel output plunged 29.6% year on year to 43.3 million tons in the April-September term, the lowest total for any half-year period since the first half of 1969, when the reading came to 40.9 million tons.


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