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Japan adopts action plan against global warming

JAPAN: Japan’s cabinet on Tuesday adopted a plan to slash carbon emissions up to 80 percent by 2050 by starting carbon trading and stepping up research on carbon-capture technologies.

“Japan must continue showing leadership on the issue of environment,” Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told the cabinet meeting.

“To lead the world, Japan must take the initiative by achieving a low-carbon society.”

Japanese industry leaders, particularly steelmakers and the power industry, have strongly opposed Fukuda’s plan, arguing it would hurt an already weak economy.

Environmentalists in turn have said the plan is not ambitious enough as it does not set more immediate targets for the coming decade, which many scientists say is crucial to stopping the planet from heating up.

Fukuda unveiled the plan before hosting this month’s gathering of the Group of Eight rich nations, where climate change was a key topic. It establishes an experimental “cap-and-trade” system, which requires firms to slash emissions and gives them an economic incentive by trading credits.

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