(dpa) - Japan's government has invited communities to put forward ideas for cutting greenhouse gases and apply to be "environmentally friendly model cities."
Ten cities would be awarded the designation at the end of July for their plans to lower carbon emissions over the next five years, the Kyodo News agency reported Friday. As part of the award, the government would provide financial aid for them to achieve their ecological targets.
Japan's government has two aims with the programme: to make rural communities, which are suffering from plummeting populations as young people leave for cities, more attractive to investors and their own residents as well as raise Japan's international profile as a cutting-edge climate protector.
The programme was announced as Japan is having difficulties meeting carbon-dioxide reductions it promised under the Kyoto Protocol and as it prepares to host the summit of the Group of Eight leading economies in July. The fight against global warming is to be the focus of the summit.