Top official tells Reuters controversial emissions trading scheme could be delayed by up to two years
South Korea could delay the introduction of its proposed emissions cap-and-trade scheme by up to two years, after a senior government official would only confirm that the scheme will start between 2013 and 2015.
Under earlier proposals the scheme would have started in 2013, but in an interview with Reuters today, Presidential Secretary for green growth Kim Sang-Hyup admitted the launch could be delayed following extensive lobbying from industry groups.
“It is no longer an issue whether or not the government would implement cap-and-trade systems. We aim to get parliamentary approval on the bill before its general session,” he told the news agency. “However, we will fully reflect industrial opinions in the bill to prevent them from reducing international competitiveness and help them minimise any damage.”
He also revealed the revised carbon trading bill, which is due to be presented before parliament later this month, would allow for a higher proportion of emission allowances to be handed for free to heavy emitters.
The government had originally intended to sell 10 per cent of allowances at auction, but Kim said that while some auctioning would remain the proportion of sold allowances will be reduced.
However, he rejected any suggestion the government was watering down its commitment to the scheme, insisting “we are not backing off”.
The latest proposals have failed to appease industry leaders, after a coalition of business lobby groups today issued a petition calling on the government to shelve the plan.
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