| SEOUL, July 16
SEOUL, July 16 South Korea's emission trading to
start next year will cost a total of 27.5 trillion Korean won
($26.64 billion) for the next three years and should be delayed
to 2020, a business lobby group said.
The scheme is due to start January 1, 2015 to cap greenhouse
gas emissions from over 400 of the country's major polluters
such as power generators and manufacturers. It aims to cut
emission in 2020 at 30 percent below business-as-usual levels.
"Given unfriendly domestic and overseas business
environment, the scheme if launched in January of 2015 would
hurt industrial competitiveness severely," the Federation of
Korean Industries (FKI) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Another private research entity Korea Economic Research
Institute said in a statement on Wednesday the scheme would
slash manufacturing sales by up to 29.6 trillion won a year.
In a response to the FKI statement, ministries of
environment, finance and trade said in a joint statement late on
Tuesday the scheme will be launched as planned as it has already
been lawfully sealed after reaching social agreement.
The joint statement noted South Korea is one of the 62
countries which voluntarily set goals to cut emission, while 37
other countries are required to reduce emission.
Asia's fourth-largest economy emitted 669 million tonnes of
carbon dioxide equivalent in 2010, making it the world's eighth
Firms will be given free permits by the government based on
their historical emission levels, but must buy more in the
market if their emissions exceed allocated levels. The amount of
free permits given out will reduce over time.
($1 = 1032.4000 Korean Won)
(Reporting by Chris Lee; Editing by Michael Perry)