07 December 2010

Japan and the Kyoto Protocol

Japan's announcement that it would not participate in a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol caused quite a stir. As I have shown in a paper on Japan's proposed emissions reductions, it simply cannot hit the aggressive targets that were proposed by a former government during a moment of populist over exuberance. 

Any commitment by Japan to a Kyoto 2 would be substantively meaningless, even if politically popular among some well-meaning but deeply misguided activists.  Japan should be applauded for its refusal to go along with a charade.  Of course, in the climate debate nothing is ever so simple.