Date: February 10, 2008
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and Russia have agreed to start talks on fighting globalwarming, including possible greenhouse gas emissions trading that would help Tokyo to meet its goals under the Kyoto Protocol, media said on Sunday.
Japan is the world's fifth-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, and while officials have pledged to meet its obligations under the international pact to fight global warming, critics say this may be difficult.
Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Russian First Deputy Premier Sergei Ivanov agreed in a meeting on the sidelines of a Munich conference that the first round of vice-ministerial talks on the issue would be held on February 27 in Tokyo, Japanese officials were quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying.
Separately, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said the talks aimed at reaching a deal under which Japan would buy surplus emissions quotas from Russia, a key step towards helping Tokyo meet its Kyoto goals.
The trading could take place under several options possible under the Kyoto Protocol, including one in which Japan -- one of the world's most energy-efficient nations -- takes part in work to reduce Russian emissions and then is allowed to count that cut as its own, the Yomiuri added.
Officials at the Environment and Foreign Ministries were not available for comment.
Japan has pledged to cut emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels over the 2008-2012 period.
A government panel said in December that Japan would be able to reach its goals if additional measures, such as extra voluntary agreements with industries, are carried out.
The United States, China, India and Russia all emit more greenhouse gases than Japan, but of the top five emitting nations, only Japan is under pressure to meet a Kyoto goal.
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Alex Richardson)