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Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Cuts CO2 23% in Second Year

Tokyo’s cap-and-trade program has achieved a 23 percent reduction in emissions in its second year, according to a report published by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG).

The fiscal year 2011 report compiled GHG emissions reports, submitted by the end of November 2012, from 934 facilities. TMG found total emissions for 2011 were 7.22 million metric tons CO2, a 2.16 million reduction from base-year emissions, which were 9.38 million metric tons CO2.

Base-year emissions are the average emissions of three consecutive fiscal years selected between FY2002 and FY2007.

The 2011 emissions represent an additional 10-point reduction from 2010 emissions, which showed a 13 percent reduction from base-year emissions.

The TMG attributes much of the 2011 reduction to that year’s earthquake, which shut off power to many businesses.

At that point, the city already had an energy conservation system, imposed by the cap-and-trade program. Under the program, facilities with annual energy usage equivalent to 1,500 kL or more in crude oil equivalent are required to reduce energy-related CO2 emissions during a five-year compliance period from fiscal year 2010 through 2014. Office buildings must cut their emissions 8 percent, and factories and other industrial facilities must reduce their emissions 6 percent.

Owners of facilities covered by the cap-and-trade program must report their emissions to the TMG by the end of November every year.

According to the TMG, in 2010, 64 percent of facilities reduced carbon emissions by more than was required (see chart). In 2011, the number increased to 93 percent, with 70 percent reducing more than 17 percent, the planned reduction obligation for the second compliance period from 2015 through 2019.

In other carbon trading news, last week the European Energy Exchange cancelled its scheduled auction of EU carbon credits. The unsold credits will be added to Germany’s next four auctions, the European Energy Exchange said.

Record-low bids from utilities, factories and banks forced the auction’s cancellation, Bloomberg reports.

The cancelled auction has added to the EU’s oversupply of carbon permits, and on Jan. 21, the European price of carbon hit a record low, falling below €4.8 ($6.39), the BBC reports.

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