Mon, Feb 09, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Japan PM to draft ‘Green New Deal’, newspaper says

AFP , TOKYO

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso will order his ministries to draft a “Green New Deal” this week to counter the twin threats of climate change and the economic downturn, a report said yesterday.

Aso will order a stimulus package focusing on slashing greenhouse gases at a meeting of his global warming advisory panel on Wednesday, the business daily Nikkei Shimbun said citing unnamed government sources.

Japan, which has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by up to 80 percent by 2050, will announce its mid-term target by June, Aso said in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month.

At Wednesday’s meeting, his government will present plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent from 1990 levels by the year 2020, the Nikkei said.

The panel will canvass opinions from a range of people including business leaders before making formal recommendations to the premier in June, the report said.

The initiative may require a 20-fold increase in tapping solar power and a 40 percent boost in the use of next-generation environmentally friendly cars, it said.

Leaders of the G8 — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US — agreed at their summit last year to cut carbon emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050.

Meanwhile Aso came under fire yesterday day after saying it was time to review the privatization of Japan’s postal services — despite his having supported the move before the last general election.

The postal service was divided into four private firms in 2007 but on Thursday Aso said he believed it was time to revisit the subject and questioned the way the service had been broken up.

Opposition lawmakers yesterday denounced his remarks as “irresponsible” and demanded an early snap election.

“Prime Minister Aso’s comment that at heart he was against the postal privatization is extremely irresponsible,” said Masayuki Naoshima, a senior official of the Democratic Party of Japan.

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