Real-time anthropogenic emission observations from Japanese passenger aircrafts in support of the monitoring of the climate mitigation progress

Submission to Policy Process
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(Japanese title: 日本の一般旅客機を活用したリアルタイムでの温室効果ガス排出量の観測)

This submission provides our input for the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement. Our input focuses on real-time anthropogenic emission observations from Japanese passenger aircrafts in support of the monitoring of the climate mitigation progress.

Summary of the submission:

  • Real-time observation of local emissions of CO2 can inform local mitigation actors of the progress of their mitigation actions and can assist them to enhance the effects and ambition of those actions in a timely manner. This is complementary to the information of CO2 inventories, which are estimates of CO2 emissions and removals only periodically, e.g., annually. In addition, visualizing the observation results can help a wide range of stakeholders (e.g., citizens) intuitively understand the trends of emissions from the local community. Therefore, it can motivate them to drive their efforts to mitigate climate change.
  • JAXA has developed a remote sensing technique that can be operated on a commercial passenger aircraft, and JAXA and ANAHD. have started a new project called the Greenhouse gas Observations of Biospheric and Local Emissions from the Upper sky (GOBLEU). The GOBLEU instrument collects CO2, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Solar-Induced Fluorescence (SIF) data. NO2 is one of major air pollutants co-emitted with CO2 via fossil fuel combustion. NO2 data should enables us to depict spatial patterns of anthropogenic CO2 emissions over major populated and industrialized areas and attribute the emissions to specific sources, such as industries and traffic.
  • The GOBLEU project has completed several test flights and collected NO2 data over major populated and industrialized areas. The NO2 data showed timely snapshots of NO2 spatial distributions, suggesting the utility of NO2 data as a proxy for anthropogenic CO2 emissions that should enhance emission estimations and attribution ability.
  • The GOBLEU instrument can be operated in almost any passenger aircraft without any modifications. Compared to other observation techniques, such as the ground-based monitoring system, the GOBLEU operation requires less technical skill and it is inexpensive. JAXA is willing to promote the observation technique by expanding the observation coverage and partnership to other countries through enhancing international cooperation under the Paris Agreement.