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Japanese companies form buyers' group to promote carbon neutral LNG

Singapore — Fifteen Japanese companies across different sectors have launched a group called the Carbon Neutral LNG Buyers Alliance to promote the use of the fuel, power utility and LNG importer Tokyo Gas said in a statement March 9.

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The group comprises several downstream industries that consume natural gas, and is the most concerted effort yet among corporations aimed at boosting the use of carbon-neutral LNG, which is LNG supplied after its carbon footprint has been fully, or partially offset using tools like carbon certificates.

Japan is working on a long-term plan for decarbonizing its energy supply by 2050, and part of its strategy is to continue using fossil fuels whose carbon footprint has been mitigated. In recent months, Japan, Taiwan and China have imported the first spot cargoes of carbon neutral LNG.

Since carbon neutral LNG is a premium fuel that is likely to have a higher cost, lobbying and public awareness initiatives are necessary to pass on the cost to the end-user. The statement has also publicly coined, for the first time, the term CNL for carbon neutral LNG.

The alliance was established by Tokyo Gas, which procures and supplies carbon neutral LNG or CNL, and the remaining companies, which purchase CNL, the statement said, adding that the aim was to spread the use of CNL to tackle climate change and environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, management.

"The companies participating in the Alliance will work to increase the recognition of CNL in society and carry out initiatives to improve its evaluation by investment institutions and establish its position within the various systems in Japan with the aim of contributing towards Japan's achievement of a carbon neutral society by 2050," the statement said.

Tokyo Gas began importing CNL in 2019 and became the first company in Japan to supply it to customers as carbon neutral city gas, according to the statement.

"The carbon credit for CNL involves the CO2 reduction effects of environmental conservation projects throughout the world that have been certified by a reliable carbon credit certifier," it added.

The companies in the Carbon Neutral LNG Buyers Alliance are -

Tokyo Gas Co Ltd (President: Takashi Uchida)

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd (President: Akiyoshi Koji)

Isuzu Motors Ltd (President: Masanori Katayama)

Olympus Corp (President: Yasuo Takeuchi)

Sakai Chemical Industry Co Ltd (President: Masaaki Yabe)

Duskin Co Ltd (President: Teruji Yamamura)

Tamagawa Academy & University (President: Yoshiaki Obara)

Toshiba Corp (President: Nobuaki Kurumatani)

Toho Titanium Co Ltd (President: Yoshihiro Nishiyama)

New Otani Co Ltd (President: Kazuhiko Otani)

Marunouchi Heat Supply Co Ltd (President: Yutaka Tajima)

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd (President: Masaru Hashimoto)

Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd (President: Junichi Yoshida)

Yakult Honsha Co Ltd (President: Takashige Negishi)

Lumine Co Ltd (President: Yuji Morimoto)