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Japan Says China May be Underreporting Increase in CO2 Concentration

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has questioned the accuracy of China’s reported annual increase in carbon dioxide concentrations. According to Japan’s greenhouse gas observing satellite, IBUKI, China’s annual CO2 concentration increase ranged from 0.6 to 1.2 ppm between 2009-2022. However, international databases calculating China’s emissions based on information published by China, such as fossil fuel consumption and number of power plants, estimate an annual increase of just 0.2 to 0.8 ppm. No such discrepancies were found for Japan and the United States using similar methodology.

Japan claims China’s published information may be inaccurate and will present these findings at the upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai. A Japanese senior official stated that inaccurate emissions reporting from major emitters like China could undermine global emissions reduction targets, as it skews calculations on progress.

Through satellite observation technology, Japan aims to improve transparency in emissions reporting. Reliable, accurate emissions data is crucial for setting and meeting climate change targets among all nations. Japan intends to keep contributing objective emissions data gathered through satellite monitoring to further emissions transparency, accountability, and broader climate action. The findings question whether China has been forthcoming in reporting its emissions and climate mitigation progress to date.

Source: Radio France International, December 8, 2023