TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s new government wants to introduce a compulsory cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions as early as the year to March 2012, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.
The scheme would be a key part of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s goal to cut such emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, the paper reported on its website without citing sources.
A government panel on the environment is likely to discuss the plan at a meeting later on Sunday, the paper said.
Under the scheme, the government would issue emissions quotas to companies. Firms emitting less than their quotas would be able to sell the surplus, the Nikkei said.
Hatoyama’s Democratic Party has said the 25 percent emissions target — tougher than the last administration’s — is needed for Japan to play a bigger negotiating role at U.N.-backed climate talks in Copenhagen in December, so that emerging nations such as China and India join a new climate pact that goes beyond 2012.
But the new government’s emissions target faces resistance from industry as Japan emerges from its deepest postwar recession.
Emissions in Japan, the world’s fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, rose 2.3 percent to a record in the year to March 2008, putting the country 16 percent above its Kyoto Protocol target.
Editing by Dean Yates