Tokyo to use carbon credits to achieve zero emissions during Olympic ceremonies

Aside from medals that will be forged from recycled metal and electronic waste, Tokyo is vying for a more planet-friendly 2020 Olympics by making it carbon-free.

Tokyo Big Sight
The Tokyo Big Sight Conference Tower would be used as the International Broadcast Center during the 2020 Olympics. Image: Masato Ohta from Tokyo, Japan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bureau of Environment of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced plans to make “Tokyo Carbon-Free for four days in 2020.” The plan is to make Japan’s capital city free of carbon dioxide emissions using carbon offsets for the four days on which the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held.

Specifically, Tokyo will encourage target facilities of the Cap-and-Trade Program (total emission reduction obligation and emission trading scheme) that came into effect in April 2010 to donate CO2 credits (excess reduction credits) acquired through energy conservation efforts.

Carbon credits will offset the approximately 720,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide expected to be emitted over the four days on which the ceremonies will be held.

The Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program is the first such program to be adopted in Japan, and requires approximately 1,300 facilities which consume large amounts of energy to reduce CO2 emissions.

The characterising feature of this urban program is the inclusion of office buildings. In fiscal 2015, the facilities achieved a reduction in emissions of 26 per cent from the base year, and total retention of CO2 credits amounts to approximately 10 million tons.

By making Tokyo carbon-free for four days, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government takes a step forward in achieving sustainability, an important theme of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This story was published with permission from Japan for Sustainability.

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