Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Japan sees 2005 as "fair" post-Kyoto base year

This is hugely important for those who follow the minutiae of where the money in the carbon trade is. The Al Gore/Enron-backed deal at Kyoto was that the U.S. would support Europe on their insistence of 1990 as the base year (Dash for gas, Fall of the Wall) in return for Europe's agreeing to carbon trading. The Japanese didn't get much out of it (other than memorializing one of their cities in the name of the Protocol) and in fact will be paying their way out of their commitment, big time.*
From Reuters:

Japan thinks 2005 would be a "fair" base year for calculating cuts in greenhouse gas emissions under a post-Kyoto climate pact, a senior trade and industry official said on Monday.

Japan has rejected the idea of keeping 1990 as the base year for emissions cuts for a new global pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, saying it was unfair to Japanese industry, which had made energy efficiency investments two decades ago.

But Tokyo had not specified what the new base year should be.

Takao Kitabata, vice minister at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) told a news conference that 2005 would be "fair", a spokesman for the ministry said.

The proposed change in the base year would likely be opposed by the European Union, which has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels....MORE

*It's going to cost Japan $Billions to buy their way out of their 2012 commitments and hundreds of billions going forward:

Japan to Pay Billions to Cut Emissions

Japanese households and businesses could end up paying more than $500 billion to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent over the next decade, the trade and industry ministry said Wednesday.

The report mapped out the changes that consumers and industry would have to make in order to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases blamed for global warming below 2005 levels by 2020.

The forecast, by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, comes as Japan is struggling to meet obligations under the Kyoto global warming pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent under 1990 levels by 2012....