Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The land of the rising sun

More on Hollywood and global warming tomorrow. For now...

The media coverage of climate change and emissions reductions is usually confined to North America, Europe and China. It was nice to see a thoughful article in last weekend's San Francisco Chronicle about Japan's efforts to meet its Kyoto emissions target.

You might expect efficient and technologically savvy Japan to lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In some ways, that is true. The Japanese have made gains in energy efficiency since signing the Kyoto Protocol, through a variety of strict government policies and private initiatives, all worth a read.

Going further might be a challenge. First, Japan is, as a whole, already far more energy efficient than North America. Second, Japan can be very influence by American culture. There is a small, but growing interest in the bigger lifestyle - cars, homes, meals - preferred by Americans. The best evidence is a shift to more North American diets (more saturated fat, more red meat) that has been causing increased heart disease among adult men and obesity among children.

No comments: