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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1998

NEWS...
Japan Gears Up for Emissions Trading


Item #d98dec40

In a news item from Tokyo carried by the Inter Press Service on Dec. 7, Naoki Matsuo of the Institute of Global Environmental Strategy said “Japanese companies have the money and expertise to put them into the forefront of a new business called environmental trading, a business that is growing attractive for it offers a practical solution towards reducing pollution.” A major target for Japanese investments in greenhouse-gas reductions will be Russia, which has large potentials for such reductions but, as a developing country, is not required to produce the same reductions as developed countries are. Experts also say that Japan will also start looking into the Asian market under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was adopted by the Kyoto Protocol, given priority by the protocol parties at the COP-4 meeting in Buenos Aires, and allows developing countries into the emissions-trading market. The CDM allows developed countries to start projects in developing countries to earn reduction credits for themselves and for the developing countries. Some studies say it would cost Japan about $20 per tonne to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Russia but about $200 in Japan. “Against such a backdrop we can see why carbon dioxide trading holds a huge attraction to the Japanese government and Japanese companies,” said Ayukawa. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has budgeted $18.5 million this year for feasibility studies in Russia and is monitoring the international trade in emissions. Japanese trading companies are already acting as go-betweens for companies that are buying and selling Russian carbon dioxide emissions.

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