Japan will no longer reduce its greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2012 or commit to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, a Japanese official said at the ongoing climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico.
Japan’s announcement “shook things up” at the U.N.-backed climate change talks, the Washington Post says. The newspaper explains that Japan has tolerated, until its announcement, the absence of China and the U.S. from the list of nations legally bound under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce their emissions. The protocol also offers financial incentives to rich countries that invest in emissions reduction initiatives in developing countries.
“Japan will not inscribe its target under the Kyoto Protocol on any conditions or under any circumstances,” Jun Arima of the country’s Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry said as quoted by the Washington Post. “Discussions focusing on a second commitment period will go nowhere.”
Developing countries, led by China, have been pushing Japan to continue with the Kyoto Protocol until the U.N. could negotiate a new agreement.