Ports and Harbours Bureau

2.4 Carbon Neutral Port (CNP) Initiative

2.4.1 Outline of Carbon Neutral Ports (CNP)

At the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in April 2021, Japan declared that it aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 46% in fiscal year 2030 from fiscal year 2013 levels, setting an ambitious target aligned to the long-term goal of being net-zero by 2050.
In Japan, ports cover 99.6% of its international trade and around 60% of overall CO2 emissions comes from oil refineries, thermal power plants, iron works and petrochemical complexes, many of which are located in port areas. Almost all of the natural resources and energies consumed by those industries are being imported through ports in Japan. Therefore, the role of ports in reducing CO2 emissions is quite important.
In order to make carbon neutral ports a reality, Japan intends to adopt an approach that addresses both the supply side and the user side of the port. On the supply side, we are going to develop or improve port facilities for accepting a large amount of next-generation energy such as hydrogen and fuel ammonia. On the user side, we are going to decarbonize port operations by introducing zero-emission cargo handling equipment, vessels and trucks. We are also going to decarbonize industries in port areas.

<The goal of the Carbon Neutral Ports (CNP)>
<Image of specific efforts to form a carbon neutral port (CNP)>

■Promoting Decarbonization through Blue Carbon Ecosystems
In recent years, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been promoted, and so-called "blue carbon" has been attracting attention worldwide. This term refers to carbon captured by marine plants and other organisms that inhabit seaweed beds and other habitats in coastal areas.
Japan's coastal areas, which are open to the sea on all sides, have high potential for blue carbon ecosystems. The government aims to include this CO2 absorption by blue carbon in the inventory*1 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and NDC*2 under the Paris Agreement. In addition, efforts will be made to create a favorable marine environment by effectively utilizing resources such as dredged sediments and creation and preservation of seaweed beds and other habitats for the blue carbon ecosystem.
Furthermore, based on the Act on Facilitating Research and Development in Basic Technology, the government will promote new decarbonization efforts using blue carbon ecosystems in cooperation with the Japan Blue Economy (JBE) Technology Research Association, which was approved by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in July 2020. These include a quantitative evaluation method for blue carbon and a trial of a blue carbon offset credit system for trading blue carbon.
*1. Inventory: According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an inventory showing the actual amount of greenhouse gas emissions and sinks by source and sink.
*2. Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC): According to the Paris Agreement, "nationally determined contribution" with respect to greenhouse gas reduction targets.


2.4.2 LNG Bunkering Development

■Development of LNG bunkering bases with a view to conversion to LNG-fueled vessels

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) decision (October 2016) has tightened international environmental regulations for vessels; such as regulations on SOx (sulfur oxides) emissions from ships in general marine areas will be tightened starting in 2020. Consequently, the number of vessels fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to increase.
Starting in FY2018, a subsidy program was established for the development of facilities needed to form LNG bunkering hubs in Japanese ports, taking advantage of the country's position as the world's largest importer of LNG. In June 2018, two projects were adopted: the LNG Bunkering Project in Ise and Mikawa Bays and the LNG Fuel Supply Project for Ships in Tokyo Bay under the STS Method.
For these projects, Japan's first Ship to Ship (STS) method of LNG bunkering was implemented in Ise and Mikawa Bays from October 2020. This project has been ongoing, creating an LNG bunkering hub. Also in Tokyo Bay, the construction and operation of LNG bunkering vessels are under preparation with the aim of putting the project into service at the earliest possible date. In FY2021, the LNG Bunkering Project in Kyushu and Setouchi Area based in Kitakyushu was adopted as the relevant subsidy program.

2.4.3  Promoting the Introduction of Offshore Wind Power

Due to the potential for mass adoption, lower costs, and economic ripple effects, offshore wind power generation is expected as a trump card for making renewable energy, the main source of power, and has been rapidly introduced and expanded worldwide

■Development of the environment for introducing offshore wind power generation
The Port and Harbor Act was amended in 2016 to improve the environment for the introduction of offshore wind power. The government established a system to select, through public solicitation, those who will occupy port areas for offshore wind power generation. In 2018, the Act on Promoting the Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Power Generation Facilities (Sea Areas Utilization for Renewable Energy Act) was enacted. The Act established uniform rules for the occupation of general sea areas as well.
A "virtuous circle" will be created in which the planned and continuous introduction and expansion of offshore wind power generation will be achieved while simultaneously enhancing competitiveness and reducing costs. To this end, a "Public-Private Council for Enhancing the Industrial Competitiveness of Offshore Wind Power" was established to facilitate dialogue between the public and private sectors. Based on the discussions at the Council, the "Offshore Wind Industry Vision (1st)" was formulated in December 2020, which indicated that projects of 30 to 45 million kW would be formed by 2040.
While accelerating procedures for the public solicitation of power generation companies for the promotion areas based on the Act on Promoting the Utilization of Sea Areas for the Development of Marine Renewable Energy Power Generation Facilities, the government will also conduct geotechnical surveys of promising areas and expedite the designation of the promotion areas.

■System for designation of base ports and harbors
Construction of increasingly large offshore wind power generation facilities requires ports equipped with quays with a certain load-bearing capacity and hinterlands capable of handling long materials and machinery. Accordingly, the Port and Harbor Act was amended in 2021 to establish a system under which the government designates ports as "base ports and harbors for offshore renewable energy power generation facilities" (base ports and harbors) and allows long-terms (up to 30 years) and stable leasing of wharves at base ports and harbors to power companies.
The Ports and Harbours Bureau will continue to develop port facilities, such as quays and loading docks, capable of handling heavy equipment and machinery.