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Biz lobby urges gov't to ease greenhouse gas emission goal

A major business lobby in South Korea called on the government Wednesday to lower its reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions, saying that it is "impossible" to achieve.

The government earlier proposed cutting greenhouse gas emission by 30 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2020. It plans to submit its greenhouse gas emission target to the United Nations soon ahead of the launch of a new climate regime after 2020.

"Since the government's emission target is in effect impossible to achieve, it needs to be re-calculated," the Federation of Korean Industries said in a press release.

The FKI, which represents the nation's family-controlled conglomerates, added that it could hurt Korea's trustworthiness in the world if it sets its reduction target for 2020 based on the short-term objective.

According to the lobby group, South Korea emitted 14 million tons more than its annual prediction in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, the greenhouse gas emission surpassed annual forecasts by 31 million tons and 20 million tons, respectively.

The FKI also pointed out the government move in January last year to lower the ratio of nuclear power plant facilities and the decision to delay a supply plan for renewable energy, saying that they would make it harder to reduce the overall greenhouse gas emission.

Emphasizing that other major countries are pushing to ease their emission targets based on their own economic conditions, the FKI called on the Seoul government to propose a more attainable emission objective.

"The reason why a debate is under way for a new climate regime after the Kyoto Protocol fell apart is because countries proposed hard-to-achieve reduction targets," an FKI official said.

"The reduction target after 2020 should be mapped out in a realistic way after taking into consideration our country's industry structure and competitiveness." (Yonhap)