S Korea decides to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 4% from 2005 level

13:43, November 17, 2009      

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South Korea will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent from its 2005 level by 2020, the country's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday.

It would be equivalent to 30 percent of the proposed Business-as-usual (BAU) guideline.

The decision was made at a weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by President Lee Myung-bak on Tuesday.

The government has weighed three options on gas emissions cut target. Besides the 4-percent plan, the other two was an 8 percent increase of the 2005 level or the same amount as the emission in the cited year.

The business circle has been arguing that the 4-percent target, the most radical option among the three, is too severe for them to meet, worrying over the heavy cost expected.

However, the South Korean government showed its firm determination on boosting green growth.

"Today marks a historic meeting. We must now think hard about ways to bring greater good to our national interest by reducing greenhouse gas emissions," the president was quoted by his spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye as saying.

"The move will be a chance to contribute to international efforts to fight global warming, but also an opportunity to significantly raise the country's status in the international community," Lee said at the meeting.

"South Korea's announcement of its voluntary reduction plan will be a chance to urge the international community to act responsibly, even though there are doubts about the Copenhagen meeting slated for the end of the year," he added.

At a upcoming conference in Denmark's Copenhagen in December, countries are aiming to wrap up negotiations on an ambitious new agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions that would go into effect in 2012 when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires. But Seoul is not bound by the Kyoto Treaty.

South Korea emitted 594 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2005,ranking 9th among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member nations.

Source: Xinhua
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