Japanese officials are preparing to request an exemption from its Kyoto Protocol commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions, as workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant start to dump over 9,000 tonnes of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
The Kyoto Protocol expires next year, however the Nikkei newspaper reported Japan will need to increase use of fossil-fuel power plants to deal with an electricity shortage at thhe Fukushima nuclear plant.
According to the Nikkei, a national delegation was discussing the issue at a UN climate meeting in Bangkok, and plans to ask for an exemption from penalties at the COP 17 climate conference in South Africa at the end of this year.
Under Kyoto, Japan must cut its average emissions in the 2008-12 period by six per cent from 1990 levels.
Japan earlier pledged to cut its greenhouse emissions even further by 25 per cent by 2020.
In the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the country has had to count on increased use of nuclear energy, which accounts for about 30 per cent of its energy needs, to reduce its heavy dependence on oil imports from the Middle East.
If Japan's request is not accepted, penalties for falling short of the Kyoto agreement include tacking on the amount
exceeding the target plus 30 per cent to future reduction targets, the Nikkei said.
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