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Last updated at 17:24 BST, Monday, 07 September 2009

Japan to cut harmful emissions

Summary

7 September 2009

Japan's Prime Minister-elect Yukio Hatoyama has said his country will aim for 25 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. The goal is more ambitious than targets set earlier.

Reporter:
Roland Buerk

A polluting power station

A polluting power station

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Report

Yukio Hatoyama said Japan would urge countries around the world to set aggressive goals on climate change. He said Japan would aim to cut its own emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, significantly more than the 8 percent pledged by the outgoing Government. It's likely to face opposition from industry.

The reductions are to be achieved by introducing emissions trading, renovating houses, as well as subsidising solar panels and low-energy appliances and cars.

After leading his Democratic Party to a landslide victory in a general election, Mr Hatoyama is due to be formally confirmed as Japan's Prime Minister by Parliament next week.

Japan is keen to play a leading role at United Nations' backed talks on climate change in Copenhagen in December. Countries will try to work out a new global agreement to reduce emissions to follow the Kyoto Protocol.

Roland Buerk, BBC News, Tokyo

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Vocabulary

urge

strongly encourage, call for

to set aggressive goals on climate change

to be more assertive, ambitious and determined in their fight against climate change

emissions

here, when harmful gases are released/sent out

pledged

promised

to face opposition

to have to deal with disagreement and resistance

renovating

here, modernising in such a way as to make them more environmentally friendly

subsidising solar panels

partly paying for the installation of special batteries that can convert sunlight into usable energy

low-energy appliances

devices that can work using relatively little energy

a landslide victory

when someone wins an election with a big majority

backed

organised and supported

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