Asia's first mandatory program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, launched last week by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, could provide a much-needed model for the central government, which is struggling to design a nationwide emissions trading system this year.
Under the leadership of Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo aims to slash its carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gas emissions by 25 percent compared with 2000 levels by 2020. The program caps energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from some 1,330 offices and factories in the capital and allows for trading of emissions credits.
The move by Tokyo, whose energy consumption is about the same as that of Sweden or Norway, offers a case study for the central government that urgently needs to draw up a blueprint for its cap-and-trade system to achieve a 25 percent cut in emissions by 2020 and keep up with global efforts to set up carbon markets.
Teruyuki Ono, director general for climate ...