Japan, Germany agree to cooperate on new climate treaty

23rd June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held telephone talks ahead of their participation in this year's Group of Eight summit in Italy next month.

Tokyo -- Japan and Germany on Monday agreed to cooperate in urging major emitters of greenhouse gases, such as the United States, China and India to take part in a new climate treaty, the foreign ministry said.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held telephone talks ahead of their participation in this year's Group of Eight summit in Italy next month, the Japanese ministry said.

"Chancellor Merkel said it was important to have major emitters such as the United States, China and India participate, and Prime Minister Aso agreed on the point," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Aso announced Japan's greenhouse gas reduction target ahead of a December meeting in Copenhagen set to hammer out a new climate treaty that will replace the Kyoto Protocol when it expires in 2012.

Aso briefed Merkel on Japan's plan to cut emissions by the equivalent of eight percent from 1990 levels by the end of the next decade, the ministry said.

Merkel welcomed the Japanese plan as "a first step forward," while saying there was room for discussions to assess if current global efforts in setting a common target are sufficient, according to the ministry.

However, Japan's figure is far below the target announced by the European Union, which has said it would slash emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels, or by 30 percent if others set a similarly ambitious goal.

Green groups have criticised Japan's emissions plan, saying it was not tough enough.

AFP/Expatica

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