Tuesday, May 19, 2009

"EU would slash emissions by 30% in 2020 if Japan does" says Danish Climate Minister Hedegaard

Denmark's Minister for Energy and Climate and host of the UN climate conference in December (COP15), Connie Hedegaard, says that the European Union has agreed to slash emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and raise the target to 30 percent if others set similarly ambitious targets.

She urged Japan to set an ambitious mid-term target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This would put pressure on the European Union and other leading economies to match this target, she said after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.

"I believe that it is absolutely necessary that the mid-term target that will come out of Japan next month must be a mid-term target that is so ambitious that for instance, it forces the European Union to go from the 20 percent to 30 percent," said Connie Hedegaard, according to AFP.

"Japan can make a positive push to negotiations by coming up with an ambitious target," Hedegaard added, praising Japan's cutting-edge energy efficiency and hybrid auto technologies. Hedegaard, praising Japan's cutting-edge energy efficiency and hybrid auto technologies, said that "in the 70s and 80s Japan was admired by the rest of the world" for its industrial success.

"Today I believe that if you are a CEO of an American car manufacturer you would envy what Japan has been doing earlier, and I want Japan to repeat that," she said. "I also do believe that will increase the pressure on China." For emerging economies such as China and India, which do not shoulder obligatory emission cut targets under the Kyoto treaty, she said "extensive technology cooperation" is key in engaging them in the new treaty. She added that it was in China's self-interest to develop less polluting technologies to have "cleaner and smarter solutions".

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