Japan is to significantly slash its greenhouse gas reduction target in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
It will now aim to achieve a 2020 target of 3.8% below 2005 levels.
This replaces a previous commitment to reduce emissions by 25% from 1990 levels.
The moves come with all of Japan’s nuclear power plants currently offline – forcing the country to increase its burning of fossil fuels.
The move was announced in Tokyo by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. The new target represents a 3% rise over 1990s emissions levels, a comprehensive turnaround from the 25% reduction target.
But Mr Suga said the previous target – set under a government led by the now-opposition Democratic Party – had been “totally unfounded”.
“Our government has been saying… that the 25% reduction target was totally unfounded and wasn’t feasible,” he said.