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253. Energy-related CO2 Emissions in 2020

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Movement control measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus infection have brought about a diastrophic shift in our lives, work, movement and social relations. In particular, the transportation and aviation sectors have been significantly affected, raising concerns about disruption of the food supply chain.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) released on March 2, 2021, global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2020 decreased by 5.8% (about 2 billion tons), which is the second largest annual decrease rate since World War II, and the largest absolute amount ever equivalent to removing all of EU emissions from the global total. More than half of this emission reduction came from reduced transportation and aviation fuel usage. On the other hand, emissions have since returned to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, and global emissions increased in December 2020 and were 2% higher compared to the same month a year earlier.

Outside the energy sector, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use are very high, accounting for 24% of all sectors, according to the Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). As of 2015, greenhouse gas emissions from the global food system accounted for 18 billion tons per year, accounting for 34% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Of this, 71% comes from agriculture, land use and land use changes, and the rest comes from supply chain activities such as retail, packaging, transport, fuel production, waste management and industrial processing.

JIRCAS is developing technologies to improve the efficiency of crop nitrogen utilization and reduce emissions in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. This  initiative is selected as a promising innovation in the food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector of  the Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality. In addition, we have developed a technology to increase crop productivity while suppressing methane generation from paddy fields, and are conducting demonstration tests in Vietnam. 

The agricultural field is attracting attention not only as a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but also as a carbon storage source. In addition to the above-mentioned technology for suppressing the generation of methane from paddy fields, we have also shown that continuous application of rice straw compost increases rice yield and contributes to carbon sequestration in paddy fields in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.


IEA: Global Energy Review: CO2 Emissions in 2020

IPCC: AR5 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2014

BNI technology was featured in “Green Growth Strategy with Carbon Neutrality in 2050” of Japanese government

Development of agricultural technologies in developing countries to respond to climate change https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/program/program_a/20160114

Continuous application of rice straw compost increases rice yield and contributes to carbon sequestration in paddy fields in the Mekong Delta,Vietnam https://www.jircas.go.jp/en/publication/research_results/2017_a01

Contributor: KANAMORI Norihito (Research Strategy Office)

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