South Korea Emission Reduction Policy

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First Basic Plan for Climate Change Response

On December 6, 2016, the South Korean government confirmed the country’s “ First Basic Plan for Climate Change Response,” after approval by the National Green Growth Committee’s and at a cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister (Acting President) Hwang Kyo-Ahn. The Basic Plan incorporates the goal of reducing the national greenhouse gas emission level by 37% (BAU) by 2030 in line with South Korea’s pledge to the Paris Agreement.

The Basic Plan is the first comprehensive policy that has medium and long-term strategies and specific action plans to combat climate change. The Basic Plan puts the focus for emission reduction on new market-and-technology-oriented efforts. It seeks to encourage the role and contribution of the private sector in reducing emissions. The Basic Plan also promotes the active participation of the public in climate change efforts. It establishes mechanisms that facilitate collaboration in combatting climate change between the central and local governments and public and private sectors. The Basic Plan provides consulting services to small and medium enterprises regarding the adoption of energy-saving technologies.

The Plan further states that the South Korean government will invest more in the development and utilization of clean energy across the country. It calls for the government and public enterprises to cooperate in doubling the investment of R&D for utilizing clean energy. Private enterprises will concentrate on their own businesses and the government will focus on R&D for the public sector. The Basic Plan states that the prime investment fields for clean energy technology will be in renewable energy, efficiency improvements, demand management, carbon capture, use and storage, nuclear energy, and thermoelectric power transmission and distribution.


The National Green Growth Committee is a special committee that is part of the Prime Minister’s office for the purpose of deliberating and coordinating the government’s green growth policies and collecting diverse opinions in the society. It is composed of 38 committee members, 21 civilian members from relevant fields and 17 government officers including minister of Finance and minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn has been serving as Acting President as the process of impeachment of President Park Geun-hye was ongoing during this period of time.

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