Japan climate bill seriously flawed

Published: 11 March 2010

Japanese version
(Oxfam Japan website)

Oxfam International criticized today the agreement just reached by the Japanese Cabinet for watering down the country’s responsibility to contribute to global efforts to tackle climate change.

Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International’s Executive Director, who is on a visit to Tokyo to meet with Japanese government officials, said:

"Today, the Japanese cabinet failed to provide international leadership, which was desperately needed to build trust between developed and developing countries after the failure of Copenhagen."

Mr. Hobbs, who led Oxfam’s team in Copenhagen last year, criticised that the ‘cap and trade’ components of the bill were weakened by allowing intensity targets, which in practice could still allow industries’ overall emissions to increase.

On the condition attached to the country’s mid-term emission reduction target of 25% that this will not be activated unless other major emitters commit to equally ambitious targets, Mr. Hobbs said: "The strategy used by Japan and Europe of making their targets conditional on movements from countries like China and India clearly did not work in Copenhagen. We have no reason to believe that today’s decision will."

Oxfam urged the Japanese parliament to review the bill in light of the country’s global responsibility to mitigate climate change, whose impacts are already hitting the poorest people and countries hardest.

"Japan has shown real leadership in committing $15bn funds over three years to help vulnerable countries adapt but this should not be contingent on signing the flawed Copenhagen Accord," Mr. Hobbs said.

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