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Japan looks to 'blue carbon' to cut emissions — and restore its coasts

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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 Japan Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Japan is leveraging "blue carbon" initiatives to cut emissions and restore coastal ecosystems
• Local projects, like the restoration of seagrass and seaweed beds in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture, have received certification for blue carbon credits
• These efforts contribute to Japan’s national emissions inventory

🔭 The context: Blue carbon refers to the carbon dioxide sequestered by coastal ecosystems, such as seagrass beds, which can store more carbon per area than rainforests
• Japan has seen a significant decline in these ecosystems due to human activities
• The government's net-zero emissions goal by 2050 has spurred interest in these projects

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Blue carbon ecosystems not only sequester carbon but also support marine biodiversity, protect coastlines, and provide economic benefits to coastal communities
• Restoring these habitats is critical for mitigating climate change and preserving marine life

⏭️ What's next: Expanding blue carbon projects, particularly seaweed aquaculture, is essential for Japan to meet its net-zero targets
• However, accurately measuring the carbon sequestered by these projects remains a challenge

💬 One quote: “I believe that if the sea improves, it will also create economic benefits — a blue economy — for the area,” said Katsunori Yamaki of the Hayama Eelgrass Council

📈 One stat: Blue carbon ecosystems reportedly sequestered 0.03% of Japan’s annual emissions in the year through March 2023

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon

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