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The government is considering establishing a system to make it easier for companies to procure electricity generated from carbon-neutral sources, including renewable sources, industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said Friday.

With the planned system, the government hopes to boost exports of products manufactured mainly with renewable energy.

An expert panel of the ministry is scheduled to draw up a draft of the system by summer. The government aims to start operating the system within several years.

At a time when the decarbonization movement is spreading globally, there is increasing momentum to emphasize reductions of carbon dioxide emitted not only when automobiles and other products are used but also when those products are manufactured and discarded.

Many Japanese firms have joined the RE100 international framework in which large multinational companies publicly commit to obtain all electricity they use for operations from renewable sources.

Meanwhile concerns are growing that it may become difficult for companies to export products made with electricity from thermal power plants and other facilities that emit CO2.

“It’s extremely important to make it easier for companies to purchase carbon-free electricity in terms of international competitiveness,” Kajiyama told a news conference.

He indicated that the government will review a trading system for non-fossil certificates proving that electricity is generated mainly from renewable sources and nuclear energy.

Electricity retailers that purchased such certificates are regarded as procurers of carbon-free electricity. The ministry is seen considering a plan to open a market to trade such certificates to companies outside the electricity industry.

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