Many industrialized countries will start the process of ratifying the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on the basis of the outcome of the negotiations in Bonn in July 2001. Policy-makers in most of these countries will face domestic hurdles including the trade-off between political commitments and economic realities. The Japanese government is facing a serious problem in meeting its target, because of the recent nuclear disaster and resulting unwillingness to expand nuclear capacity. This report analyses the specific conditions for Japan, covering various scenarios for additional policies such as fuel switching, carbon taxation and emissions trading, within the context of a liberalizing energy market. It also speculates on the future of the Kyoto regime itself.
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