Japan has decided to pay for its CO2 emissions. Since the country is unlikely to meet the Kyoto Protocol agreement for its emissions, the Japanese government is thinking of going shopping in Hungary to buy carbon emission rights.
The fact is that Japan is failing behind its Kyoto commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 6 percent below its 1990 levels by 2012. Current figures show that the country is already 6.4 percent over 1990 levels. On the other side, Hungary has 10 million of carbon credits to sell and Japan is just one of the potential buyers.
According to Japanese newspaper Asahi, those credits could cost about 20 billion Yen (about $185 million), which Hungary would invest in renewable energy sources.
One of the reasons that is given for Japan not reaching this goal is the general lack of economic growth, which hasn't allowed the development of cleaner technologies. Buying carbon offsets is a cheaper option, at least in the short term.
[Source: Int'l Herald Tribune]