CO2 Exports in APAC: Japan’s Approval of a Key Amendment to The London Protocol

June 24, 2024|CCUS

Last month the Diet approved the 2009 Amendment to the London Protocol that is relevant to the international shipment of CO2. This move is a critical step to facilitate Japan exporting captured CO2 for overseas storage.

Through this amendment, Japan is betting on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) to become a vital part of plans for its energy transition. This specifically concerns decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries such as cement production, chemical manufacturing, fertilizers, and steel production. It would also strongly influence the power sector.

Japan’s geography, however, doesn’t allow for the easy and plentiful storage of CO2. While the country has identified several domestic storage projects, it is looking overseas to the Southeast Asian region, Australia, and elsewhere as locations that are better suited for carbon sequestration due to a plethora of depleted oil and natural gas reservoirs, untapped geologic structures, and saline aquifers.

Hence, the need to build out a CCS supply chain overseas and the importance of shipping CO2 abroad. This article looks at how Japan has approached the issue from a technical perspective and within the framework of international law.

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