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Japan's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Up 4.2 Percent

Fri, 04/13/2012 - 1:54pm
The Associated Press

TOKYO, April 13 (Kyodo) — Japan's emissions of greenhouse gases in fiscal 2010 that ended in March 2011 totaled 1.26 billion tons, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier, the Environment Ministry said in a report Friday.

It was the first time in three years that Japan's greenhouse gas emissions had posted a year-on-year increase, ministry officials said.

Japan's business conditions improved in fiscal 2010 after being hit hard by the 2008 collapse of major U.S. brokerage house Lehman Brothers, pushing up emissions from the industrial sector, the report said.

The fiscal 2010 total represented a 0.3 percent decline from the base year of fiscal 1990 under the Kyoto Protocol and a 10.1 percent decrease if factors such as forest absorption of greenhouse gases and emission credits Japan bought from other countries are counted, the report said.

Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Japan is required to reduce its emissions by an average of 6 percent between fiscal 2008 and 2012.

Japan reduced emissions of heat-trapping gases by an average 10.9 percent during the three fiscal years through the end of March 2011, the report said.

But Japan's greenhouse gas emissions could increase sharply in fiscal 2011 and beyond as most nuclear reactors have remained shut down in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that was hard hit by the March 11, 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster that pushed up the use of thermal power plants, the officials said.

They said Japan could still achieve its requirement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 6 percent in the five years through March 2013 if it takes appropriate action.

The Kyoto Protocol cites six greenhouse gases as reduction targets, including carbon dioxide.

Emissions of energy-originated carbon dioxide in fiscal 2010 increased 4.5 percent to 1.12 billion tons.

By sector, emissions from the industrial sector, such as factories, rose 8.7 percent to 422 million tons, while those from the transport sector, mainly automobiles, went up 0.9 percent to 232 million tons.

Carbon dioxide emissions in the household sector went up 6.3 percent to 172 million tons because of an increase in power consumption due to summer heat waves and a severe winter.

Emissions from office, shop and services sectors went up 0.5 percent to 217 million tons and from the energy conversion sector such as power plants up 1.2 percent to 81 million tons, the report said.

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