In an effort to tackle global warming, the South Korean government has decided to allocate 538.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions rights to 591 companies across 26 industries in 2018, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said Tuesday.
The government will also announce an emissions allocation for 2018 - 2020 in the first half of next year, which is a year behind the initially scheduled deadline of this June.
Relevant authorities have not yet reached a consensus for the later time frame due to a policy change with the Moon administration pushing for a nuclear phase-out plan, the ministry said.
South Korea’s emissions trading system started in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Participating companies have been given Korean allowance units to trade for extra emissions rights.
Korea vowed to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent to 536 million tons in 2030 as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Next year’s emissions rights of 538.4 million tons is about 85.18 percent, the level participating companies had estimated for 2018 based on their emissions level over the past three years, the ministry said.
Under the law, the government has to finalize the total amount of emissions six months before the new year begins.
The delayed announcement has been drawing complaints across industries, as participating companies have not yet been able to set up a business plan for next year, industry insiders said.
“The total amount of emissions permitted along with emissions per industry can be set once the policies regarding electricity and energy are decided,” said Oh Il-young, the director of the Finance Ministry‘s climate change policy.
Oh added, 15 companies in the nuclear industry account for about 44 percent of the total emissions by participating companies.
Implementation of the quota system that charges 3 percent of the emissions quota to companies in selected industries alongside the benchmark quota system have been delayed until 2019, the ministry said.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)