Korea, no, save yourselves! Don’t do it!
South Korea, the fastest-growing emitter among rich nations, will try again to pass a bill that sets up emissions trading in 2015 and allows lawmakers to work out details later this year, a top climate official said.
The country, which delayed a decision on Feb. 27 about legislation to start cap-and-trade, is working to reschedule the vote, with a target of April or May, Nam Kwang Hee, director general of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, said in an interview. The main parties have agreed that emissions trading will reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change, so the debate is focused on “procedures,” said Nam, 51.
“Ruling and opposition parties shared the conviction that the bill is needed,” he said. “It’s a matter of procedure whether the assembly holds session for voting in April or May.”
South Korea would follow Australia and New Zealand as the third country in the Asia Pacific region to use a cap and trade, a system that lets emitters buy and sell a fixed number of pollution permits. The Federation of Korean Industries and the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the nation’s largest business lobbies, have asked the government to delay the plan, saying it will increase costs and make them less competitive against countries that don’t charge for emissions.
“We don’t think our legislation pace is slow,” Nam said, noting that Australia took several years to overcome political opposition and pass legislation in 2011 that establishes a cap and trade system in 2015.
Tony Abbott, Australia’s opposition leader, has vowed to repeal climate legislation if he is elected in 2013. Australia’s upper house of parliament voted in November to support Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s plan to impose a carbon price of A$23 ($24.40) a ton for carbon discharges starting in July 2012, before cap and trade starts three years later.
There’s only one way Abbott’s Conservative government will not be elected in 2013 and that’s for Gillard’s Fuster-Cluck government to collapse prior before that election can be held.