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Politics

Japanese satellite to beam down emissions data for emerging Asia

Tokyo vows to help Southeast Asia and Pacific islands in the climate fight

A Japanese rocket launch: The country aims to send up a new emissions-monitoring satellite next fiscal year.   © Reuters

BONN, Germany -- Japan plans to launch a satellite to track greenhouse gases, aiming to help less-developed Southeast Asian countries and Pacific islands confront climate change.

Environment Minister Masaharu Nakagawa unveiled the plan on Wednesday in a speech at COP 23 -- the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change -- in Germany.

The launch is scheduled for the fiscal year through March 2019.

Although almost all of the world's countries have joined the Paris climate accord, smaller economies struggle to accurately measure their own heat-trapping emissions. This raises the question of how to verify that these countries are hitting their reduction targets.

The planned satellite -- a successor to an existing emissions-watching satellite called Ibuki -- promises to provide such countries with accurate estimates.

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