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Battling climate change, Japan looks to seagrass for carbon capture

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Reuters or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: In Yokohama, Japan, volunteers are actively participating in planting eelgrass in coastal areas to combat climate change
• This initiative is part of Japan's broader strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, focusing on utilizing marine vegetation to capture carbon dioxide

🔭 The context: Japan is the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally but possesses one of the longest coastlines, offering a unique advantage in using marine ecosystems for carbon capture
• The planting of eelgrass not only restores natural ecosystems but also contributes significantly to absorbing atmospheric carbon

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Despite blue carbon (carbon captured by marine ecosystems) accounting for only a small fraction of Japan's emissions, its significance is growing as terrestrial forests age and become less efficient at carbon absorption
• The involvement of marine vegetation is seen as increasingly vital in meeting climate goals

⏭️ What's next: Japan's future efforts will likely increase focus on expanding marine vegetation projects
• As forests age and absorb less carbon, the role of marine ecosystems in carbon capture is expected to gain greater emphasis, potentially offsetting a larger percentage of national emissions

💬 One quote: "If eelgrass were to grow in every shallow area of the sea it's possible for it to grow, I think it could absorb perhaps 10 or 20% of human emissions," said Keita Furukawa, marine scientist

📈 One stat: In fiscal year 2022, marine and coastal ecosystems in Japan absorbed approximately 350,000 tons of blue carbon, equating to 0.03% of Japan's annual emissions

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon capture & storage

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