PANAMA -- An international organization of environmental groups awarded Japan its environmental booby prize on Oct. 3 for continuing to hawk its nuclear energy technology to developing nations despite the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The Climate Action Network selected Japan for its "Fossil of the Day" award during a working group meeting in Panama for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. The award is normally given to nations the network believes have been dragging their feet on global warming.
The decision appeared to reflect a debate within the network about the role of nuclear technology, and particularly post-Fukushima Japanese nuclear technology, in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Sources said delegates discussed a proposal in a closed session on Oct. 2 to revise the clean development mechanism (CDM), which allows industrialized nations to earn greenhouse gas emission credits by financing and assisting emissions reduction efforts in developing countries.
A representative of the Japanese delegation said the export of nuclear energy technology should be considered as a CDM measure, but a number of NGO representatives criticized that position. One said it was ethically wrong for Japan to export the nuclear energy technology that failed in Fukushima to developing nations.
With many developing nations calling for an extension of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, the general atmosphere at the conference has been negative toward Japan, which opposes such an extension.
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