Market News

 April 14, 2007
Japan and China pledge post-Kyoto talks

 Tokyo, Japan (GLOBE-Net) -- Japan and China will participate in negotiations for a global climate change agreement to follow the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, leaders from the two countries said after a summit which produced a number of environmental and energy accords.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that they will "actively participate in the process on building an effective framework from 2013 and beyond."

China is poised to become the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter within the next year, surpassing the United States. According to a projection from the International Energy Agency, China could be responsible for nearly 40% of the rise in global GHG emissions over the next few decades, largely as a result of its status as the world's largest coal consumer.

The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end after 2012, and the participation of emerging nations such as China and India is seen as vital to the success of any follow-on agreement. The absence of emissions reduction targets for the two nations has been cited as a major reason that the United States has not ratified the treaty, and why the U.S. has resisted calls for a cap on its own emissions.

China has maintained the position that industrialized countries are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions, and asserts that its own targets should take into account the fact that economic growth helps reduce poverty.

China's top climate change official said in March that a national plan on global warming set to be released this month would include policies for cutting back greenhouse gases, but did not say whether it would give an overall national target.

Japan has been a key supporter of the Kyoto Protocol. The country is a leading participant in global carbon markets and plans to make substantial emissions credit purchases to meet its Kyoto target. The country has struggled to reduce its own emissions, which are currently 12 percent above 1990 levels, well over the targeted 6 percent reduction.

The statement by the Chinese and Japanese leaders did not say whether China will commit to emissions reduction targets.

Other areas of agreement include technical assistance by Japan to increase desulphurisation of China's coal-fired power generation. China hopes to make use of 'clean coal' technology to reduce greenhouse gases and smog-forming pollutants which have heavily polluted the air in many of its cities, costing estimated billions in health care costs.

China also said that it plans to reduce the share of coal in energy consumption to 66.1 percent by 2010 from around 69 percent in 2005. The difference will partly be made up by an increase in natural gas consumption, up 2.5 percent to 20.5 percent by 2010.

For More Information: China Daily