Possibility of Ratification by 2018: High
South Korea has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement but has been making commitments to green practices since signing the agreement in April. The South Korean government is in the process of finalizing its 2030 Roadmap for Reducing Greenhouse Gases. By 2030, Korea plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37% from its business-as-usual level. The Korean Adaptation Center for Climate Change (KACCC) is developing a climate adaptation policy based on vulnerability and impact assessments.
South Korea’s Minister for the Environment, Yoon Seong-kyu stated that South Korea will push for early domestic ratification of the Paris Agreement. There was no timeline stated further than this but the South Korean government has begun to prepare for the ratification in the National Assembly. In the 2016 National Assembly election, the Saenuri Party obtained 122 seats and lost the majority. The Minjoo Party obtained the most seats in the election with 123. No party was able to obtain a majority due to the increased support of the People’s Party, which obtained 38 seats. This new dynamic could have an impact on the ratification of the Paris Agreement due to the loss of the Saenuri Party to support legislation proposed by President Park Geun-hye. Elected in 2012, President Park is a member of the Saenuri Party and her term ends in 2017. Due to the structure of the Korea government, the President is limited to one, nonrenewable 5 year term. Both the Saenuri and Minjoo parties recognize the importance of sustainable energy sector in their platforms and will hopefully come together to ratify the Paris Agreement in the National Assembly.
During COP21, President Park Geun-hye stated that Korea will take an active part in the new climate regime by cutting carbon emissions through new green industries, sharing new technologies and business models with developing countries, and joining discussions to set up a global carbon market.
There is support for the Paris Agreement in Korea but there is no definite timeframe for its ratification.
Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Katrina Pellegrino