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Japan urged to reflect on new CO2 target

Updated: 2013-11-19 11:05
( Xinhua)

WARSAW -- A senior Chinese official urged here on Monday the Japanese government to reflect on its decision to slash its greenhouse gas emissions target.

"Japan has indeed poured cold water on the whole conference by putting forward such a new target, when all countries are discussing how to address climate change and trying to reach a new deal on this," Xie Zhenhua, head of China's delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference, said at a news briefing.

The Japanese government last Friday decided to cut emissions by 3.8 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, claiming the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami had forced it to close some of its nuclear plants.

The new target, a reversal of its previous target of a 25-percent reduction, represents a 3-percent rise from the U.N. benchmark year levels of 1990.

It is widely criticized in Warsaw, where officials from nearly 200 countries and regions have been gathering on November 11-22 to prepare for a global climate pact due to be agreed in 2015.

"Japan should really reflect upon this aspect," Xie, also deputy head of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said in response to a question from Xinhua.

The Japanese government could deal with disaster and economic difficulty it had suffered from if it tried to strike a balance between economic growth and fighting climate change, he noted.

"When the whole international community is talking about green and low-carbon growth, it is possible to find a way to both accommodate the need for economic growth and fighting climate change," the Chinese official added.