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No.18(2010/3/26)
RENGO's view was reflected in Government Basic climate Bill
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama

The Government of Japan approved the Basic Climate Bill on Measures to Prevent Global Warming at a cabinet meeting on March 12. The Bill is aimed at the formation of a low-carbon society by achieving of the goal of reducing Japan's emission of greenhouse gases by 25% from the 1990 level by 2020. That goal was pledged by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in the 2009 Lower House General Election Manifesto and by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama at the United Nations General Assembly in September of last year. The Bill also advocates "promoting measures to prevent global warming consistent with securing economic growth, employment security, and the stable supply of energy." Highly appraising the Bill, RENGO General Secretary Hiroyuki Nagumo said that he sees it as an expression of the government's firm and strong will to promote measures to deal with global warming.

Hiroyuki Nagumo,
General Secretary of JTUC-RENGO

According to General Secretary Nagumo , in the drafting of the Bill RENGO actively consulted with the Government at various levels, and coordination with various circles and parties concerned so as to reflect RENGO's position in it. He said that RENGO had insisted that it is necessary for Japan to shift to a green and sustainable society, to develop and expand industries under a growth strategy, and to stabilize and create employment so as to achieve a "just transition."

General Secretary Nagumo added that the Bill generally incorporates RENGO's present position in that, (1) it recognizes the importance of employment measures ("employment security" is specified in the article concerning aims and basic principles); (2) regarding mid- and long-term targets, it stipulates global fairness as a prerequisite, mentioning that all major greenhouse gas emitting nations should agree on a fair and effective international framework; (3) it notes the linkage with energy policy; and (4) it clearly refers to the reflection of public opinion in policy formation and the establishment of a certain framework for future "social dialogue." On the other hand, concerning the domestic emissions trading system, General Secretary Nagumo commented that the Bill merely touches on setting a limit on both the total volume of emissions and emissions volume per production unit. The specific design of the system is so be discussed in the future.

The Bill is scheduled to be presented to the current Ordinary Session of the Diet. After its passage by the Diet, a basic program and roadmap will be formulated so as to implement the contents more concretely. In this connection, General Secretary Nagumo emphasized that in formulating the basic program and roadmap, it will be important to disclose information thoroughly and to conduct a "social dialogue" among various stakeholders in the country in order to promote the effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the premise of employment security.

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