Japan greehouse gas emissions fall 5.7 percent in 09/10

Steam spew from chimneys at an industrial complex in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo October 23, 2009. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 5.7 percent to 1.209 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent in the past financial year, a second straight year of decline due to weakness in the global economy, preliminary data showed.

The slide was in line with market expectations as emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fuel, which account for about 90 percent of greenhouse gase emissions, fell 5.6 percent to 1.075 billion tonnes during the same period, according to preliminary data released last month.

Tokyo’s goal under the Kyoto Protocol is to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1.186 billion tonnes a year on average over the five years to March 2013, down 6 percent from 1990/1991 levels.

Japan saw its greenhouse gas emissions peaking at a record 1.374 billion tonnes in the financial year ending March 2008, up 9 percent from 1.261 billion tonnes in 1990/1991.

The government is expected to release final emissions data for the past financial year in April.

Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Edwina Gibbs