Positive Environment News

Move the Clocks Forward to Cut C02, Japan Told

Date: 19-Apr-07
Country: JAPAN

The call came despite the failure of a similar attempt in the United States this year. There an earlier switch to summer daylight saving time has not resulted in any measurable energy saving.

Japan aims to cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by six percent in the 2008-2012 period from the 1990 level under the United Nations-led Kyoto protocol.

But its actual emissions rose 0.6 percent in the year to March 2006, leaving it 14 percent above the Kyoto goal.

"Now it is quite difficult to achieve it. The major cause of the increase in CO2 emissions is the residential sector," Fujio Mitarai, the chairman of Japan's Keidanren business lobby, said in an opening speech to an environmental seminar.

"The introduction of summer time would be effective in reducing residential emissions."

He offered no goals for Japanese industry to work towards in cutting its own emissions.

Government data last year showed emissions from homes increased by 4.5 percent in the year to March 2006, but still accounted for only 13 percent of Japan's total emissions.

In a daylight saving system clocks move forward by an hour in early morning to start summer time, in theory helping households to use less electricity for light at night.

But the US move to switch to summer time on March 11, rather than the usual early April, has not cut electricity demand, power companies there have said.

Mitarai also said the scheme to succeed Kyoto should include the United States as well as India and China, which do not have reduction targets.

Japan has repeatedly said it will not let the Kyoto Protocol lapse without a framework to succeed it after its 2012 expiry, but has shied away from any commitments of its own, although European nations have set tough targets.

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