Published November 15, 2013
WARSAW, Poland – Activists taking part in U.N. climate talks say Japan's decision to drastically scale back its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will hurt the battle against global warming.
The new target approved by the Japanese Cabinet on Friday calls for reducing emissions by 3.8 percent from their 2005 level by 2020.
The revision was necessary because the earlier goal of a 25 percent reduction from the 1990 level was unrealistic, the chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters in Tokyo.
The move could complicate the international talks in Poland, which are supposed to lay the ground for a new emissions deal.
Wael Hmaidan, director of Climate Action Network, called Japan's move "outrageous," saying in Warsaw that it will have a "serious and negative impact on the negotiations."
Oxfam spokeswoman Kelly Dent said Japan's "dramatic U-turn" is a "slap in the face for poor countries" struggling with climate change.