Japan dials back from emissions cut target in move likely to slow new climate change pact

Japan has drastically scaled back its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, complicating efforts to forge a global climate change pact.

The chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said the new target approved by the Cabinet on Friday calls for reducing emissions by 3.8 percent from the fiscal 2005 level by 2020.

He said the revision was necessary because the earlier goal of a 25 percent reduction from the fiscal 1990 level was unrealistic.

Japan is reevaluating its energy policy following the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant and has all of its atomic power plants are offline for safety checks. To compensate for the lost generating capacity, utilities have ramped up output from coal, oil and gas-burning plants.

The revised emissions target assumes no use of nuclear power.