Japan looks to raise 2030 emissions-reduction target to at least 40% cut on fiscal 2013 levels

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has set a goal of making Japan carbon neutral by 2050. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan is looking to raise its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions-reduction target to at least a 40 per cent cut on fiscal 2013 levels from 26 per cent now, Kyodo news agency said on Wednesday (April 7), citing sources close to the matter.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has set a goal of making Japan carbon neutral by 2050, and the government aims to finalise the 2030 target by the Group of Seven summit in June, Kyodo said, adding that some compromises will have to be made as there are differing views among its ministries.

Mr Suga will meet with United States President Joe Biden in Washington on April 16, before attending a virtual summit of 40 leaders on climate change on April 22-23.

Mr Biden had called for the summit and his administration is expected to announce what the White House called "an ambitious 2030 target" for reducing carbon emissions by the time it convenes.

The European Union has raised its 2030 emission-reduction target to at least 55 per cent from 40 per cent on 1990 levels, while Britain has said it would lift its 2030 goal to at least 68 per cent from 57 per cent.

While the Japanese environment ministry is proposing an ambitious target of reducing emissions by 45 per cent, the industry ministry is pushing for a more conservative 35 per cent, Kyodo said.

Japan had previously planned to finalise its new 2030 target by the United Nations' Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in November, but Mr Suga decided to bring it forward based on developments in the international community, Kyodo said.

Last October, Mr Suga declared an ambitious target of becoming a carbon-neutral society by 2050, as Japan made a major shift in its position on climate change.

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