Small Japanese Companies Get Help Cutting Emissions

Japan has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% by 2050.

A new fund aims to help small Japanese companies gain access to technologies to reduce emissions of gases blamed for global warming, its supporters said July 7. The fund, which will be set up in July, seeks to facilitate the transfer of low-carbon technologies from big Japanese firms to smaller companies which normally cannot afford them.

"Under the current system, small companies don't have financial and technological resources to implement CO2 emission (reduction) programs," said Yasuhiro Sakakibara, a board member of the Switzerland-based ZERI Foundation and the head of the new sister foundation in Japan. "We believe this will lead to further emission cuts in Japan." The fund, which hopes to attract donations from companies and individuals, aims to enable big companies to earn carbon credits by offering low-carbon emission technologies to smaller companies.

"We hope that this system proves to be effective and to be adopted internationally under a post-Kyoto framework," said Kozo Yamamoto, a lower house lawmaker and former vice trade minister involved in the initiative. Japan, the birthplace of the Kyoto Protocol, is far behind in meeting its obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6% from the 1990 level. Tokyo hopes to lead discussions on tackling global warming at the July 7-9 summit of Group of Eight rich nations in northern Japan.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in early June unveiled a carbon trading market as part of plans to slash greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% by 2050.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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