15 October 2012
South Korea to double 2013 emissions cut target
The South Korean government has announced that it intends to deepen its 2013 emission reduction targets for its largest industrial and power companies. The target will increase from 1.42% (8m tonnes going by emissions in 2012) to 3% (17.2m tonnes). The move comes ahead of the government’s planned introduction of a national emissions trading scheme at the start of 2015.
Under its current projections, the government expects companies that will be covered by the ETS to emit around 571m tonnes of CO2e in 2013 compared to total national emissions of 590m tonnes. Although the government has faced opposition from companies that will be subject to the targets, a relatively low maximum fine for non-compliance of KRW10m (€6944) has helped the legislation to pass.
The South Korean ETS is one of the regional initiatives that has been giving some optimism to proponents of emissions trading and it’s encouraging to see that the government continues to indicate its intent for the nation to reduce its emissions. Although the low maximum fine may mean that there is some flagrant abuse of the legislation in its earlier years, it is possible that the government may start to increase the penalties for non-compliance. The progress of emissions trading in South Korea is also of interest given the continued talk about linking of regional emissions trading schemes.