March 13, 2021. A group of 15 Japanese firms including Tokyo Gas Co. and Isuzu Motors Ltd. formed an alliance to promote carbon-neutral liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a step to offset climate change-causing emissions.
The launch came as Japan has pledged to bring its carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 and companies explore ways to meet the goal.
“Even if we aim to realize a hydrogen-based or net zero carbon society, CO2 emissions are increasing even now,” Tokyo Gas Executive Vice President Kunio Nohata said at a joint press conference in Tokyo with other executives of the companies.
Carbon-neutral LNG involves energy suppliers engaging in green projects such as reforestation to offset CO2 emissions produced in the process of gas extraction, liquefaction, transport and actual use.
Tokyo Gas procures LNG from Shell Eastern Trading (Pte) Ltd. and has begun operating carbon sequestration projects to counteract the amount of CO2 emitted in the production process.
Japan relies on imports of LNG, which is less emissions-intensive than petroleum or coal. Still, reducing the costs associated with offsetting LNG emissions remains a challenge.
Isuzu, the maker of trucks and buses, has already introduced vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The automaker will first use LNG that has had its carbon offset at a refueling station in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, according to Tetsuya Ikemoto, an Isuzu senior executive officer.
The alliance said it aims to increase the number of participating companies across various sectors and from overseas, and will consider developing and financing conservation projects in the future.
The other companies in the group include beverage maker Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., industrial conglomerate Toshiba Corp., Mitsui Sumitomo Trust Bank and Lumine Co., an East Japan Railway Co.-associated department store chain.