Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga plans to pledge a cut in greenhouse-gas emissions in Japan to net zero by 2050 in his first policy speech in parliament next week, government sources said Wednesday.

It will be the first time a Japanese prime minister has presented a specific timeline for realizing a carbon-free society.

Amid mounting concerns on climate change around the globe where abnormal weather conditions associated with natural disasters have been frequently observed recently, a number of economies including the European Union have already set the same goal.

Suga is expected to announce the net zero emissions target in his first general policy address to the Diet on Monday.

The government has said Japan will aim to achieve the net-zero emissions goal as early as possible in the second half of this century.

Japan has often drawn criticism over its reliance on coal-fired power plants, which are significant contributors to the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

The new emissions target is also likely to affect the process of renewing the country's strategic energy plan.

The current emissions reduction goal was adopted in 2015 in accordance with the Paris climate accord, a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

The Paris accord aims to keep the increase in global temperatures to "well below" 2 C compared with preindustrial levels, preferably to 1.5 C.

Other than the European Union, Britain also aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In his address to the U.N. general assembly last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing, the world's largest carbon emitter, aims to go carbon neutral by 2060.