South Korea confirms carbon market launch

South Korea confirms carbon market launch


South Korea’s only securities exchange, the Korea Exchange, is reported to have won a contract to operate world’s second largest Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from the start of 2015.

The securities exchange will operate the carbon trading scheme when it launches next year.

south-korea-ets-street-sceneAccording to Reuters Newsagency, The Korea Exchange will host South Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, which is due to launch on January 1, 2015.

More than 400 of South Korea’s largest polluters will see their emissions restricted under the scheme.

Past assessments have suggested that the South Korean ETS could be the most expensive in the world with a price of US$90 a tonne of carbon.

As with the European Union’s ETS, an overall cap will be set on emissions, and then a certain amount of permits to pollute will be issued to companies, depending on their size.

south-korea-industry-generalCompanies, which have reduced emissions below their benchmark cap, will be able to trade surplus permits to those that are polluting more than expected.

The move is the latest example of ambitious climate policy from a country that has won plaudits from green businesses and clean tech firms.

Those accolades have come for a policy of investing more than 80 per cent of its economic stimulus package in low-carbon projects and committing to cut emissions by 30 per cent against business as usual levels by 2020.

Tsouth-korea-general-imagehe scheme will launch next year, alongside a flurry of new carbon markets in China, parts of the US, and Kazakhstan.

At the same time Australia, a major trading partner with South Korea sees its new conservative Liberal-National government trying to do away with the country’s current fixed price ETS.

South Korea represented the world’s eighth largest emitter in 2010, with 669 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent pumped out into the atmosphere.