South Korea passes ETS legislation
The Republic of Korea, one of Australia’s top trading partners and the world’s 15th largest economy, has passed legislation for a national emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, congratulated the South Korean Government on the decision, which represents an important step towards driving sustainable growth and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Australia is now one of 34 countries around the world, including South Korea, that will use emissions trading as the primary vehicle to drive carbon pollution reduction. The South Korean ETS is similar to Australia’s carbon pricing mechanism.
Both schemes will cover the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the respective economies.
Starting in 2015, the South Korean ETS will cover facilities emitting 25,000 tonnes of carbon pollution – expected to be around 500 of the country’s largest emitters. The Government will set emissions caps and reduction targets for each trading period.
Since the Clean Energy Future package was announced last July, more countries have moved towards pricing carbon.
In February, South Africa announced a carbon tax starting in 2013. In March, Mexico passed a voluntary ETS. In April, Italy passed a carbon tax. China is developing pilot emissions trading schemes in a number of provinces and cities, covering economic and population areas multiples the size of Australia.
Australia’s fourth largest trading partner is the Republic of Korea and the two-way trade in goods and services between the two countries was worth $31.9 billion in 2010-11.