22 June 2015 - Special issues

I4CE co-authors: Marion Afriat & Lara Dahan
EDF co-authors: Joojin Kim & Peter Sopher
IETA co-authors: Jeff Swartz & Stefano de Clara

The authors would like to thank Ruben Lubowski, Joe Billick, Clayton Munnings, Jennifer Andreassen, Richie Ahuja,
Sung Woo Kim (KPMG), Siwon Park, and Yong Gun Kim (Korea Environment Institute) for very helpful comments and information for this case study.

Since 1990, the Republic of Korea’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have increased by 132.9% and, in 2012, amounted to 688.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) excluding LULUCF. In 2012, the majority of CO2e emissions were derived from the energy sector, responsible for 87.2% of national emissions, followed by industrial processes (7.5%) the agriculture (3.2%) and the waste sector (accounted for 2.2%).
As part of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, the Republic of Korea pledged to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below its Business as Usual level by 2020, a goal that equates to a 4% reduction below 2005 levels.
A major step towards this goal came in April 2010, when the Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth (Framework Act) and the Presidential Decree promulgated thereunder came into effect. The three most important features of the Framework Act are that it:
1. sets the national GHG emission target to reduce emissions 30% below Business As Usual (BAU) levels by
2. establishes the Greenhouse Gas Target Management System (TMS), which sets emissions and energy targets
for business entities in the industrial, power generation, transportation, building, agriculture, food and waste
sectors; and;
3. provides the legal basis for an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
Unlike the ETS, the TMS does not enable companies to trade credits. Penalties for non-compliance are maximum KRW 10 million (approximately US$9,100i) regardless of the level of infraction. Conversely under the ETS, companies are subject to penalties that are proportionate to the volume of GHG emissions exceeding the cap. In July 2011, the Republic of Korea announced BAU emissions levels it will use as the baseline for reducing emissions, and GHG emission reduction targets for each sector.

To learn more
  • 01/20/2023 Foreword of the week
    2023’s resolutions for a reform of development finance

    2022 ended up on a consensus that the global financial architecture is no longer “fit for purpose”. In other words, the financial ecosystem created post-war to support international development – at the centre of which are the IMF and the World Bank who were joined later by other international public financial institutions – wasn’t designed to address the multiplicity of challenges the world is facing today, foremost among which climate change. Time is running, and the good news is that 2023 is set up to be a busy year with key events setting the milestones for a reform of the international financial architecture, including a Paris Summit in June. The year will close at COP 28, where we will officially take stock of current achievements.

  • 01/19/2023 Blog post
    Here’s to an impactful new year for financial reform

    2023 will be busy with many events organised to address different parts of the financial architecture reform, including a Paris Summit in June. Alice Pauthier from [i4ce] tells you more about this agenda and identifies two conditions for a successful reform process. First, it has to be led by countries’ financing needs… wheras we are still lacking a granular analysis of countries’ investment needs for a sustainable development. Second, it has to be guided by the objective of maximising the impact of public finance. What we should count is the impact of public finance on the transition and not only volumes.

  • 01/18/2023
    The limitations of voluntary climate commitments from private financial actors

    Private finance will not fund the transition without a stronger commitment from public authorities.
    For several years, and particularly since COP 26, considerable time and attention has been dedicated to the subject of voluntary commitments from private financial actors. These commitments, made within the framework of international initiatives, should in principle enable private finance to be mobilized for the transition to a carbon neutral economy.

See all publications
Press contact Amélie FRITZ Head of Communication and press relations Email
Subscribe to our mailing list :
I register !
Subscribe to our newsletter
Once a week, receive all the information on climate economics
I register !