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Hyundai Steel loses suit over state’s carbon credit quota

Korean conglomerate Hyundai Steel lost its suit against the state’s move to allocate carbon credits to businesses, a court announced Thursday.

The Administrative Court dismissed the steelmaker’s request to revoke the Environment Ministry’s action to allocate a set amount of carbon credits to the company.

This is the first verdict released over the controversial carbon credit quota after a number of companies filed lawsuits against the state to nullify the carbon credit move earlier this year.

In December last year, the government gave a certain quota for carbon credits to 525 companies, including 84 petrochemical firms, ahead of the opening of Asia’s first-ever carbon trade market in January this year.

If companies exceed the emissions allowed, they are mandated to purchase the carbon credits.

The business sector, however, has complained about the insufficient quota, claiming the ministry allocated only 80 percent of carbon credits they had requested.

Earlier this month, the Korean government pledged in Paris to cut emissions by 37 percent from the expected business-as-usual level by 2030.

The industry has raised suspicion over the efficacy of the carbon credit trading system. As of this month, the total trading amount in the market recorded 0.8 percent of this year’s allocated amount of carbon credits -- 543 million tons, officials said.

By Lee Hyun-jeong (rene@heraldcorp.com)

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