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Japan to fund CO2 reduction steps by cities, firms over multiple yrs

A meeting between Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and representatives of municipalities at the premier's office in Tokyo on June 9, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government will financially aid decarbonization measures by municipalities and companies over multiple years as Japan seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, its medium- to long-term road map on the issue showed Wednesday.

    The government will also introduce solar power generation in all public facilities of the state or municipalities by 2040, according to the road map.

    At a meeting with representatives of municipalities at the premier's office, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga called for the central and local governments to coordinate "so that measures taken in regional areas would contribute to the country's decarbonization."

    To spearhead efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, the government will select at least 100 regions from remote islands, rural districts, urban areas and other places to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by fiscal 2030 and share their best practices.

    The government initially planned to spur competition between the selected 100 regions by ranking them based on how well they are able to reduce CO2 emissions, but dropped the idea due to opposition from the municipalities, sources close to the matter said.

    Reflecting the global trend to cut emissions, Suga pledged last October to reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050.

    In April, the premier vowed to achieve a new goal of a 46 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by fiscal 2030 compared with fiscal 2013, instead of the previous commitment of a 26 percent cut.

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