Japan to measure “blue carbon” to reduce emissions

The Japanese government’s latest initiative in the fight against climate change involves calculating the amount of “blue carbon,” which refers to the carbon dioxide absorbed by seaweed and sea grass. This announcement was made by Japanese Environment Minister Shintaro Ito at a ministerial meeting in Dubai during the 28th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

With the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent in fiscal 2030 from the fiscal 2013 level, and ultimately achieving virtually zero emissions by 2050, Japan is exploring innovative methods to achieve these targets. One such method involves quantifying carbon absorption by trees, seaweed, and other natural resources as a reduction in emissions.

In a groundbreaking move, Japan intends to incorporate the amount of blue carbon in its report on greenhouse gas emissions and absorption for fiscal 2022, which will be submitted to the United Nations. This marks the first instance of such a step being taken on a global scale.

As a requirement, Japan and other major countries are obligated to submit these reports to the United Nations by April each year. The inclusion of blue carbon in Japan’s report could set a new precedent for other countries to follow.

Additionally, at the COP28 ministerial meeting, Minister Ito unveiled an aid package aimed at assisting developing countries in their efforts to combat climate change. This aid package includes providing satellite data on emissions and supporting the implementation of an early warning system for weather-related disasters.

Ito’s announcement reflects Japan’s commitment to not only meeting its own emission reduction targets but also to support other nations in their climate change mitigation efforts. By sharing valuable resources such as satellite data and technical assistance, Japan is taking steps to enhance global cooperation in addressing the urgent issue of climate change.


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