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Japan May Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Up to 15%, Panel Says

Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions may drop as much as 15 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels if the country increases the use of energy saving measures and clean energy, an environment ministry taskforce said.

The taskforce debating Japan’s low-carbon policies and measures after 2013 plans to propose six different scenarios for emission cuts to the government, according to a draft report released today. Japan’s existing pledge is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels in 2020.

Should Japan reduce its reliance on nuclear power to 15 percent by 2030, the country can achieve an emissions cut of 15 percent by 2020 and a 31 percent reduction by 2030, according to one of the scenarios.

The country is reviewing its energy policy and goals to reduce emissions after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami resulted in meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. Nuclear power provided about 30 percent of the country’s electricity before the crisis.

The government will review the scenarios by the environment ministry task force and earlier proposals on the country’s energy mix by an industry ministry panel before making a final decision in the summer.

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