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An Emissions Trading Scheme for South Korea: Momentum for Rio+20?

by Scott A. Snyder
June 20, 2012

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during the opening of the High Level Segment at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) in Durban (Rogan Ward/courtesy Reuters)


Lee Myung-bak departs Seoul for the G-20 in Los Cabos and the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development with an unanticipated political feather in his camp in the form of ratified national legislation establishing an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that is scheduled to take effect in 2015. But, as Jill O’Donnell describes in her latest ROK Green Growth Quarterly analysis, the legislation passed as part of a lame duck session of the eighteenth ROK National Assembly prior to its departure from office in early May has received relatively little public attention in South Korea. Moreover, many of the details regarding the scope and structure of a South Korean market for the exchange of emissions permits have yet to be worked out. The future effectiveness of the legislation—and what Lee Myung-bak will be able to claim as a result of his efforts to contribute to the international climate change agenda through the promotion of its Green Growth strategy—will depend on the success of climage negotiations and a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol.

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