South Korea approved a cap-and-trade system to cut carbon emissions as President Lee Myung Bak seeks support from factories and power plants in the fastest-growing producer of greenhouse gases among industrialised democracies.
The National Assembly passed a bill to establish a cap-and- trade system in the country by 2015 with the backing of both ruling and opposition parties, according to the assembly’s webcast of the main session yesterday.
President Lee Myung Bak is struggling to sell the plan at home after pledging in December 2009 at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen to cut carbon emissions by 30 per cent from forecast levels by 2020. The country’s largest companies said the plan will hurt competitiveness.
South Korea is the world’s eighth-largest carbon emitter, based on 2009 figures from the International Energy Agency. The country’s greenhouse-gas emissions jumped to about 640 million metric tons in 2011 from 350 million tons in 1990, making it the fastest-growing emissions source among 34 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in a Feb. 9 report.
Australia voted last year to start a cap-and-trade system in 2015. New Zealand started emissions trading in 2009, and the European Union has operated the world’s biggest emissions market since 2005.
South Korea imposed reduction goals in October 2011 on 458 polluters starting this year. They range from factories, buildings and livestock farms that produce at least 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year.