South Korea Commits to Massive Greenhouse Gas Reductions

17 November 2009 (Last Updated November 17th, 2009 18:30)

South Korea says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from its business-as-usual (BAU) scenario forecast for 2020. South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said the target is the biggest suggested by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for emerging econom

South Korea says it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from its business-as-usual (BAU) scenario forecast for 2020.

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said the target is the biggest suggested by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for emerging economies.

The target is also the highest forecast amongst three scenarios proposed so far.

In August this year, South Korea outlined three scenarios including reducing emissions by 4% by the end of the next decade from 2005 levels, capping emissions at the 2005 level or permitting an 8% hike by 2020.

South Korea says it will cut emissions in the transportation and building sectors to maintain carbon dioxide output below the level set for 2020 in case preventive steps are not adopted.

A task force of industry officials, bureaucrats and experts will be established to examine possible restrictions on households and industries.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said the 30% reduction target is not absolute, as oil prices and future economic growth may alter the target.

On 4 August, a committee under the presidential office said that by the year 2020 South Korea's annual carbon emissions may increase to 813 million metric tons if steps to reduce carbon output are not implemented.

That will be a 37% rise compared to the 594.4 million tons generated in 2005.