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Draft Japanese bill suggests watered-down global warming counter-measures

TOKYO, Feb. 27 — The latest draft law that government compiled shows some of its anti-global warming measures could be watered down significantly compared with an initial draft mapped out earlier by the Environment Ministry, sources knowledgeable about the matter said Friday.

While government is moving ahead with a debate on the draft to earn Cabinet approval on March 5, the planned legislation is leaning heavily toward meeting demand from business circles in regulations on emission trading and renewable energy promotion.

An environmental group official with knowledge of the draft criticized it as "giving the nod to doing nothing."

Several clauses in the bill also differ from what the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) pledged in its campaign manifesto for last year's general election.

The ministry's initial draft aimed at setting an upper limit to total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from business corporations in line with DPJ's pledges.

This draft's latest version envisions creating a system of setting an upper limit per production which means overall emissions will rise if production increases.

The latest version maintains the goal of slashing GHG emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 as revealed by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama last fall. (PNA/Kyodo)

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