Japan to launch indicator combining GDP and carbon emission reduction efforts -Nikkei

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Smoke rises from a factory in front of Mount Fuji during the sunset at Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, Japan January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

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TOKYO, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Japan's government will create a new indicator aimed at reflecting the country's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared with its gross domestic product (GDP), the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

Japan's greenhouse gas emissions have been declining in recent years, the Nikkei said without saying where it got its information, adding that the new measure will show the country's decarbonisation efforts from an economic growth perspective.

But an official at the Cabinet Office, which is also in charge of calculating GDP, said nothing had been decided about releasing a new indicator on a regular basis in the future, describing the Nikkei's report as inaccurate.

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The Cabinet Office was only looking at ways to assess carbon neutrality-related statistics, but its research was still in the early stages while it may stretch out over multiple years, the official said.

Japan in April set a much more ambitious goal for reducing carbon emissions, doubling its 2030 target for cutting carbon emissions to 46% from 26% on 2013 levels.

A draft of Japan's latest energy policy released last month showed the country will raise its target for renewable energy in its electricity mix to account for 36%-38% of power supplies in 2030, as the government pushes to cut emissions.

The official said the Cabinet Office had asked a private-sector firm to examine ways to assess data and indices related to carbon neutrality.

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Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Hugh Lawson

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