Japan to Consider Emission Trading, Environment Minister Says

Japan may consider introducing a national carbon emissions trading system, following announcements on China’s plan to start a similar program to tackle climate change.

“Emission trading is a cost-effective measure that will certainly lead to emission reductions,” Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki said during a press conference Tuesday, according to a transcript provided by the ministry. “We would like to consider the measure while looking at the impact on industries and employment.”

China plans to start a national pollution-trading system in 2017 that will cover industries including power generation, iron and steel to cut global warming emissions, according to a U.S.-China joint presidential statement on climate change released on Sept. 25. China has seven pilot programs already operating in the country.

Japan, the world’s fifth-largest emitting country, considered a nationwide emissions-trading system earlier. The plan was put on hold in December 2010 after the government said it decided to closely examine the impact on businesses and the effectiveness of other climate-change measures, according to a document posted on the environment ministry’s website.

Earlier that year, Japan’s largest business lobby released the results of a survey showing that most of the companies surveyed opposed a national scheme.

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