More and more Japanese companies want to export their carbon dioxide emissions to Southeast Asian countries and elsewhere to store them underground as a way to fight climate change, with more than a dozen projects underway, according to one count made by Kyodo News.

The move comes as the Japanese government promotes carbon capture and storage, known as CCS, and has set a goal of implementing the technology by 2030. However, the costs of the technology are high and overseas projects could face local opposition.

CCS technology captures CO2 from industrial plants before it can be emitted into the atmosphere and injects it deep underground for long-term storage.

Trading company Mitsubishi, oil major Eneos Corp and two other companies are studying a project to liquefy CO2 emitted by thermal power plants and oil factories in Tokyo Bay and ship it to Malaysia for storage there.

It is expected to collect about 3 million tons of CO2 per year with this project, which the companies intend to launch in fiscal year 2030.

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake shakes southwest Japan, without a tsunami warning

Chubu Electric Power Co., based in Nagoya, central Japan, has also started, together with other companies, a feasibility study on collecting CO2 from plants and factories in the Nagoya port area for storage in Indonesia .

Trading company Sumitomo Corp. has partnered with JFE Steel Corp. and others to conduct a feasibility study to aggregate CO2 from the Setouchi and Shikoku regions of western Japan and then transport the emissions to Australia for disposal. storage.

Companies such as Osaka Gas Co. are also studying a project to store CO2 from domestic industrial plants in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, environmental groups have criticized the Japanese push for CCS for not being an effective measure against climate change, given that the technology allows us to continue using fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gases.

Friends of the Earth Malaysia has protested to the Japanese government and others about the possible storage of CO2 in Malaysia, denouncing the export of emissions to countries in the “Global South” as “nothing more than carbon colonialism.”

“This is an unproven, high-risk, high-cost technology that carries long-term responsibilities,” the group said in an open letter made public in March. “Japan must cut emissions at source and must not export or dump CO2 in other countries.”


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