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2008年6月30日 (月)


(Jun. 30, 2008) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Cooperation vital for cutting emissions

都CO2条例 削減率を公平に課せるか(6月30日付・読売社説)

A newly revised ordinance by the Tokyo metropolitan government calls for penalizing owners of buildings failing to meet carbon dioxide emission reduction targets. The ordinance, however, faces many challenges, including whether it can impose a CO2 emissions reduction target on each building in a fair manner.


The revised environment preservation ordinance was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. It is a landmark ordinance that obliges large business establishments to reduce CO2 emissions--the first of its kind in this nation.

The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to enforce the ordinance from fiscal 2010.


By fiscal 2005, CO2 emissions from the non-industrial and institutional sector in Tokyo, including office buildings, had increased by 33 percent from the fiscal 1990 level. The Tokyo metropolitan government apparently decided to make CO2 emissions reductions obligatory as there is a limit to what can be achieved through voluntary reduction efforts by the business community.



About 1,300 business establishments consuming more than a given volume of electricity and gas in Tokyo will be required to reduce their CO2 emissions under the ordinance. Included are most of the major office and commercial buildings and hotels, which all together make up 40 percent of the total CO2 emissions in Tokyo.



Setting targets


The metropolitan government will set an emissions reduction target for each business establishment and issue an order to make further efforts if those establishments fail to meet their targets. If they are deemed not to be making sufficient effort to achieve the reductions, they will be subject to a fine of up to 500,000 yen.


There has been both opposition to and doubts about Tokyo's move to oblige establishments to cut CO2 emissions when no such measure has been introduced by the central government. The ordinance may require buildings to introduce energy-efficient office machinery, including computers and air conditioners. Cooperation of tenants occupying those buildings will be essential for meeting reduction targets.


The metropolitan government aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent to 20 percent by the end of fiscal 2020. This will certainly force business establishments to shoulder a heavy share of the burden to achieve the goal.


In setting a reduction target for each establishment, it will be necessary to consider whether it has already made efforts to conserve energy. There will be an inevitable gap in the scope of possible CO2 emissions reduction in the future between those establishments that have already taken steps to conserve energy and those that have not done so.



Trading scheme


The ordinance also allows emissions trading. Those establishments failing to meet their reduction targets can buy surplus emissions quotas from those having achieved their targets and use the credits toward meeting their reduction targets.



Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has announced a pilot project for an emissions trading system to start in the autumn as part of efforts to tackle global warming. Tokyo's global warming countermeasures will serve as a guide for the central government.


It may be necessary, however, to deal with possible discrepancies with Tokyo's emissions trading system should the central government decide to introduce its own emissions trading system for the nation in earnest.


(in earnest=本気で)

should the central government decide to introduce its own emissions trading system for the nation in earnest=国が将来、取引制度を本格導入する際は 文法:仮定法過去倒置の用法 もしも~の場合には…)

An increasing number of local governments are considering their own energy-conservation measures, including cuts in the late-night and early-morning operating hours of convenience stores. While it is certainly not a bad idea for local governments to carry out policies appropriate to their areas--particularly when the nation's overall emissions reduction is not progressing as desired--such measures should be implemented only after winning the understanding of local businesses and residents.



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 30, 2008)

20086300230  読売新聞)


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