Japan promises 2020 carbon target

The Japanese prime minister Taro Aso promised this weekend that the country would unveil a mid-term carbon emissions reduction target by this June.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, Aso said that Japan would set a "concrete target" for the year 2020 as a means of ensuring progress is made towards its goal of cutting emissions by 60 to 80 per cent by 2050.

"We have to be concrete," Aso told reporters at the summit. "We must present concrete figures which will show how much it's going to cost people or how to reduce the financial cost. Otherwise it's not convincing."

He also reiterated Japan's position that its targets will only be of use if other large polluters agree to similar targets as a result of the UN's ongoing climate change negotiations.

"We can't have plans which are not agreed by the US, China or India," he warned.

In separate news, fresh details of South Korea's climate change plan has emerged after the government said it would invest 100 billion won ($72m, £51m) to bolster renewable energy capacity in the country and help boost South Korean clean tech firms.

The country's government announced last year that it was to invest $2.7bn of public and private sector funding in clean technologies and has now confirmed that an initial $72m will be invested in a new renewable energy fund to help support solar wind and hydro electric projects.

According to reports by the Cleantech Group, the government has said that the money will be used to help bolster domestic renewable energy firms, which to date have struggled to compete with foreign suppliers.

The Ministry of Knowledge and Economy said that 26 wind power projects had already been selected to receive funding and that a new feasibility study would be undertaken for a proposed 40MW wind farm on the Saemangeum reclamation site.

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