South Korea to take another go at cap-and-trade bill

March 19, 2012

South Korea will once again attempt to pass a bill that sets up emissions trading in 2015 and allows lawmakers to work out details later this year, a top climate official was quoted by Bloomberg today.

 The country delayed a decision on February 27 over cap-and-trade legislation and is  now working to reschedule the vote for April or May, Nam Kwang Hee, director general of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, told Bloomberg.

South Korea would follow Australia and New Zealand as the third country in the Asia Pacific region to use cap-and-trade. The Federation of Korean Industries and the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the nation’s largest business lobbies, have asked the government to delay the plan, saying it will increase costs and make them less competitive against countries that don’t charge for emissions.

South Korea’s greenhouse-gas emissions jumped to about 640 million tonnes in 2011 from 350 million metric tonnes in 1990, making it the fastest-growing pollution source among 34 nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

If the assembly passes the bill, the government will have six months to determine the main operating details before the law takes effect, Nam said.

The specifics to be resolved include setting up an exchange for trading pollution permits, how many permits should be allocated without charge, and how United Nations emission credits, also known as offsets, can be used in the program.