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`Korea Not to Be Subject to CO2 Emission Limits`

Posted September. 09, 2008 03:28,   


Despite increasing pressure from the international community to accept cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, Korea is expected to be excluded from the list of nations subject to mandatory limits on CO2 emissions under the post-Kyoto Protocol regime beginning in 2013.

In an interview with The Dong-a Ilbo yesterday, Korea`s climate change ambassador Chung Rae-kwon said, “Korea decided to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a non-legally binding way in the second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol beginning in 2013.”

“Korea will commit to a manageable reductions target and its progress will be subject to pledge and review.”

Chung, who attended the latest round of United Nations climate change negotiations in Ghana last month as Seoul`s chief negotiator, added, “The final decision will come at the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol at the end of next year, but the international community including the European Union and the United States have given a positive response to Korea’s proposal."

"Therefore, we can say the proposal is pretty much a foregone conclusion given the emphasis on each nation’s freedom to make appropriate reduction efforts.”

Korea was under increasing pressure to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as it was not included among the 38 industrialized countries subject to mandatory greenhouse gas emissions despite its membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Speculation was rampant in Korea that the nation would be obliged to curb its emissions in the post-Kyoto Protocol era.

If nations with mandatory reduction targets fail to deliver on their promises, they must buy a corresponding amount of emission credits from other countries. Even a target that sounds as simple as cutting emissions five percent below the 2000 level can cost more than four billion dollars a year.