As we said in "Japan wants easier target for greenhouse gas cuts", "Japan sees 2005 as "fair" post-Kyoto base year " and back in January: "Japan to propose 2000 as post-Kyoto base year: report":
This is a big deal. Expect Russia, the EU and USCAP to fight this tooth-and-nail.It may seem like inside baseball but it is one of the rules of the carbon game that determines price. If Japan is successful, carbon trades lower. The U.N. and EU will fight hard on this.
From Terra Daily:
The UN climate chief was critical Monday of Japanese-led calls to change the 1990 base year for cuts in gas emissions, saying the real issue was how much nations would do to fight global warming.
Japan, whose economy is steadily recovering from recession, is far behind in its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol to slash gas emissions blamed for global warming by six percent by 2012 from 1990 levels....
Here's a bit o' diplospeak:
...Japan argues that the 1990 base year is biased towards the European Union, which has been pushing for further steep binding cuts from 1990 levels.
In 1990, some European Union countries were then heavily polluting members of the Soviet bloc. The base year also comes before the full privatisation of Britain's coal industry.
Chief US negotiator Harlan Watson called the Japanese proposal "an interesting idea."
"We're looking into it. There are some people to think that 1990 was advantageous to some parties," Watson told AFP.