July 6, 2009
Kitamoto City to Become First Municipality to Participate in Japan's Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme
Kitamoto City in Saitama Prefecture will participate in the fifth phase of Japan's Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme, led by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), in order to accelerate the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and accumulate knowledge in domestic CO2 emissions trading. This is the first time that a municipality will participate in this scheme. The city aims to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted at 32 facilities, such as the government office buildings, cultural centers, public halls, school meal facilities and nursery schools, by 21 tons (equivalent to one percent of the average annual emissions of 2,023 tons in the assigned base years) in fiscal 2010. Under this MOE-led emissions trading scheme, participants set their own reduction targets and work on achieving them. If they reduce emissions beyond their targets, or cannot meet the targets, they are allowed the flexibility of trading emission allowances with each other. Currently, CO2 emission credits are traded at around 1,250 yen (about U.S.$13) per ton in Japan. To date, a total of 222 businesses have signed on to this scheme. To achieve its goal, Kitamoto City plans to introduce highly-efficient lights, apply heat-exchanging coatings to the roofs of buildings, and promote energy conservation and other measures.