Dec 10, 2020

Japan plans tax breaks for low-emission cars

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Ruling coalition puts carbon neutrality and green investments at the centre of economic recovery plan
Ruling coalition puts carbon neutrality and green investments at the centre of economic recovery plan...

Japan’s ruling coalition has proposed tax breaks on low-emission cars and green investments as part of a package of incentives worth up to £460 million as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga puts carbon neutrality at the centre of economic recovery plans.

Suga intends to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, bringing Japan in line with the European Union and ahead of China’s pledge to achieve the same goal by 2060, according to a Reuters report.

The prime minister’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its ally the Komeito Party have proposed tax exemptions for firms that increase carbon-free investment in their tax reform plan. This plan will serve as a platform for the government’s tax policies for the year beginning in April.

The tax code revision will introduce national tax cuts of £359.4 million to £431.3 million, as well as local tax cuts of £28.7 million annually, LDP tax commission chief Akira Amari says.

The ruling coalition has proposed extending by two years tax reductions for environmentally friendly cars, and cutting the tax charged on aviation fuel to help airlines hit by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

It has also called for further steps to be taken to soften the blow from COVID-19 on households and businesses, including an extension of tax breaks on mortgages and of corporate tax discounts for small and mid-sized businesses.

“We cannot tackle fiscal reform right now, but we must build a foundation to achieve it as soon as possible,” Amari says.

The tax plan comes in the wake of Japan’s decision to compile a £531.8 million economic stimulus package that features support for green and digital innovation as Suga’s administration sees these as key areas for Japanese business investment that could give the economy a necessary boost.

Although Japanese car makers have seen sales rebound from the impact of the pandemic, they have fallen behind their global peers in the race to develop electric vehicles.

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Jun 7, 2021

Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International sign MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping

Independent commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International have signed an MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping and ammonia fuel infrastructure.

Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050. 

How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.

Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:

  • The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
  • Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
  • Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities

Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.  

There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.

Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.

Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.

Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.

It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.

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