Japanese companies will now be able to earn carbon credits by investing in technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico thanks to a new deal signed between the two countries.
It is Japan’s 12th bilateral carbon agreement and will allow companies in Japan – the world’s fifth biggest greenhouse gas emitter – to use lower-cost emission cuts abroad to help meet domestic targets.
Responding to the 2011 Fukushima disaster – which resulted in 48 nuclear plants being left idle – Japan weakened its 2020 emissions target to 3% on 1990 levels by the end of the decade.
This is compared to the country’s original target of 25% over the same period and the decision drew wide criticism on the international stage.
Bilateral offset carbon deals let Japan meet a share of its target by paying for emissions cuts in developing countries, where they are usually less costly, but the rules and monitoring of such deals are yet to be recognised by the United Nations.
Mexico has already used foreign funding from other UN led initiations to help it reduce its footprint, including the Clean Development Mechanism which allows investors in emission reduction projects in poor countries to earn credits that can offset domestic emissions.
The country has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% on levels forecast in 2010.
In a joint statement the governments said participants of the new agreement would not be able to use projects registered under other international emission reduction schemes.
The statement said:
The objective… it to establish the basis through which the participants will promote the investment and the use of technologies, products, systems, services and infrastructure in order to reach a low carbon growth in Mexico.
Japan’s previous bilateral partners include Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mongolia and Vietnam.