Tokyo, Oct 27 In his first policy speech since assuming power last month, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the country to net zero by 2050.
Addressing the opening of the 41-day extraordinary Diet (Parliament) session on Monday which will run through December 5, Suga said that Japan would now aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, compared to the previous administration's plans of reducing emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, reports Xinhua news agency.
He said that proactive measures and a change of mindset would be necessary to achieve the goal.
"We need to change our mindset and proactively take measures against global warming that will bring about changes to industrial structures, as well as the economy and society, and lead to major growth," the Japanese premiere said.
He went on to say this could be achieved by the enhanced use of renewable and nuclear energy.
He however, added that his immediate focus, however, was the Covid-19 pandemic which has severely impacted the nation's now recession-hit economy which has worsened to levels not seen since before the war.
On Tuesday morning, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed Suga's pledge during a 10-minute telephone conversation, during which the Japanese premier informed the world body chief that Japan will join the Climate Ambition Alliance, a consortium of countries, cities, companies and official bodies committed to achieving carbon neutral targets, the Foreign Ministry here said.
Also during the call, Suga further said that Japan will expedite the process of creating a "virtuous cycle of environment and economic growth through innovations and continue to play an active role in realizing a carbon free society sought by the Paris accord", the Ministry added.
In response, Guterres was quoted as expressing his gratitude and saying he was encouraged by Japan's leadership.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, also welcomed Japan's goal, saying that "we look forward to working with them toward net zero emissions in 2050... The world is coming together for the climate".
( With inputs from IANS )
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