Korea aspires to take center stage of global green growth

May 14, 2012

Korea, the world’s fifth-largest oil importer, is fast shifting its growth paradigm to an environmentally-friendly, energy efficient one to achieve both sustainable economic growth and protect the earth, according to the Korea Herald.

President Lee Myung-bak unveiled his plans for the country to play a leading role in drawing up a plan for sustainable growth at last week’s opening ceremony of the Global Green Growth Summit 2012, which was attended by national leaders, heads of international organizations, noted scholars and businesspeople,

The initiatives Lee discussed included setting up research institutes and think tanks, and the Global Green Growth Institute in October.

On May 3 this year, the National Assembly approved legislation on carbon-emissions trading, paving the way for Korea to become one of the first Asian countries to implement a national Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).

With the parliamentary passage of the much-debated bill, Korea will formally start greenhouse gas emission trading in 2015 as part of global action toward lowering emissions and stemming global warming.

Korea, which has emerged as a key player on the global stage, is expected to assume a leading role in an international carbon market that has already grown to USD141.9 billion as of 2010.

Analysts say the plan will cover about 60 percent of emissions and affect big polluters, including steel, petrochemicals and ship-building companies as well as livestock farms and large universities.