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S. Korea eyes 30-pct cut in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020

The government plans to reduce the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from business-as-usual levels in 2020 to help stem global warming, the environment ministry said Tuesday.

The plan, approved by the Cabinet in the morning, calls for a reduction of 233 million carbon dioxide equivalent tons in 2020, according to the ministry. The figure represents a 30 percent reduction from the 2020 BAU level of 776 million tCO2e.

The new road map maintains the 30 percent reduction target set by the former government of President Lee Myung-bak in 2011 but contains more detailed measures to attain the goal in seven sectors, including transportation, construction and industry, the ministry said.

The reduction targets were set at 34.3 percent for the transportation sector; 26.9 percent for the building sector; 26.7 percent for energy conversion and generation; 25 percent for the public sector; and 18.5 percent for industry.

Officials expect that the road map, if carried out, will help create about 3,000 new environment-related jobs through 2020.

The government had reviewed the former government's greenhouse gas reduction plan since gas emissions increased sharply in 2010 for the first time in 17 years.

"We recalculated the 2020 BAU level jointly with related government offices but decided to stick to the original goal because there was no major difference," a ministry official said. "The road map, instead, contains more detailed reduction policies and ways to carry them out." (Yonhap News)