Solar power for all homes in Japan
Japan Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, aiming to take the lead in the fight against climate change, unveiled a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60-80 per cent from current levels by 2050.
Following an environment initiative, the Japanese government will come up with measures to promote the household use of solar power systems by introducing subsidies and tax breaks from next year.
The steps include halving the cost of buying solar power systems in Japan, home to major solar component makers. These include Sharp Corp, Kyocera Corp and Sanyo Electric Co.
The government also aims to introduce new legislation next year to require oil and gas firms to use a certain amount of cleaner energy, such as bio-fuels, from 2010 when making petroleum products and providing gas.
Japan imports most of its fuel and oil and gas account for more than half of all its energy consumption. Faced with soaring crude oil prices, the government wants to trim its reliance on fossil fuels, in addition to improving its green credentials.