SCENARIOS-Fate of Japan climate bill uncertain after election

Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:45am GMT

By Chisa Fujioka

TOKYO, July 12 (Reuters) - Japan's climate bill, which backs the creation of an emissions trading scheme, faces an uncertain fate after the ruling Democratic Party and its ally lost their majority in a weekend election for parliament's upper house.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) stays in power because it controls the more powerful lower house, but will need to seek new partners to control the upper chamber and pass bills smoothly.

The ruling bloc at present does not have a two-thirds majority in the lower house that is needed to override decisions made in the upper house.

Japan is the world's fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter and has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

The target is among the most ambitious of all rich nations but has also sparked nationwide debate over how to attain it without hurting the world's No.2 economy.

The climate bill, shelved last month after parliament ran out of time to finish debate, would make the target legally binding and set a one-year deadline for the government to design a compulsory emissions trading system. Other measures to help Japan meet the target are also part of the bill.

Below are some scenarios for the climate bill, which the government plans to resubmit to the next session of parliament.


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