South Korea doubles 2013 emissions reduction target

SEOUL Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:33am EDT

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea has doubled a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by local industrial and power sectors in 2013 to enhance competitiveness prior to a new cap-and-trade scheme starting in 2015, the economy ministry said on Monday.

Asia's fourth-largest economy aims to cut 17.2 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent or 3 percent of next year's expected emissions, compared with 8 million metric tons of CO2 reduction or 1.42 percent of this year's level, it said in a statement.

Seoul expects 570.6 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent gases to be emitted by 377 entities in its industrial and power sectors in 2013. The country's total emissions is seen at 589.8 million metric tons of CO2 next year, it added, and the industrial and power sectors are major emitters.

"We expect the reduction target, which was set up based upon this year's strict verification, to help those emitters facing the emission certificate trading scheme in 2015 strengthen and improve their competitiveness," the ministry statement said.

Korean lawmakers approved the national emissions trading scheme in May to start January 2015, which will tackle growing greenhouse gas pollution, overcoming strong industry opposition and joining some nations to put a price on carbon.

Those emitters which fail to meet their reduction targets next year will pay a maximum of 10 million Korean won ($9,000) in 2014, a relatively small amount which makes emitters prefer this method to cap-and-trade, and strongly oppose the switch.

Carbon emission reduction goals in 2013 for the country's top 10 emitters (thousands of metric tons, weighting on overall reduction) are as follows:

Ranking Name Amount/Weight

1 POSCO 2,480/26 pct

2 Hyundai Steel 487/5.1 pct

3 Ssangyong Cement 443/4.6 pct

4 Tongyang Cement & Energy 284/3.0 pct

5 S-Oil 266/2.8 pct

6 GS Caltex 247/2.6 pct

7 SK Energy 241/2.5 pct

8 LG Display 228/2.4 pct

9 Samsung 223/2.3 pct

Display 10 Samsung 216/2.3 pct

Electronics

($1 = 1,111.2500 Korean won)

(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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