Japan, Philippines to share carbon credits by cutting methane from rice farming

Japan and the Philippines have agreed to share carbon credits by cutting methane emissions from rice paddies in the Philippines with the use of Japanese technology.

Japan's agriculture ministry said on Friday that it has agreed with the Philippines on the details of the project.

It says Japan will provide technology to regularly drain rice paddies and expose soil to oxygen in order to suppress the functions of methane-producing bacteria.

Rice paddies reportedly account for 48 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the world's croplands. Methane is said to be mostly responsible.

The technique, known as alternate wetting and drying, is expected to reduce methane emissions by 35 percent, while increasing harvest yields by more than 20 percent.

Japan and the Philippines will share credits from the emission cuts under a framework called the Joint Crediting Mechanism.

Japan has already offered renewable energy technology to partner countries under the bilateral credit-sharing system.

But the agriculture ministry says the project with the Philippines will be the first in the field of farming. It says it hopes to provide Vietnam with similar technology.