Act on the Allocation and Trading of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rights regulated by Enforcement Decree of Allocation and Trading of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rights Act ( 2012 )

The Act aims to achieve the national targets for reducing GHGs by introducing a system for trading GHG allowances through market mechanisms. The first phase of the trading scheme is due to start in 2015, covering companies that emit 125,000 metric tonnes or more of CO2 a year and factories, buildings and livestock farms that…read more

Act on the Creation and Facilitation of Use of Smart Grids ( 2011 )

The Act aims to create smart grids and to facilitate them to create green growth and to deal with climate change. The government is to develop and implement a 5-year plan for creating and facilitating the use of smart grids. Research and development resources are to be provided for. The Act also details requirements to…read more

Act to Promote the Purchase of Environmentally Friendly Products ( 2010 )

The purpose of the Act is to promote the purchase of environmentally friendly products, as defined in the Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth. The Act obliges public institutions to purchase environmentally friendly products whenever possible to do so without jeopardising quality or without conflict with other specified prioritised matters. A data management system…read more

Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth, regulated by Enforcement Decree of the Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth ( 2010 / Mitigation Framework )

South Korea’s Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth creates the legislative framework for mid- and long-term emissions reduction targets, cap-and-trade, carbon tax, carbon labelling, carbon disclosure, and the expansion of new and renewable energy. The Framework Act requires the government to establish and implement a national strategy, action plans, and a detailed 5-year plan…read more

Sustainable Transportation Logistics Development Act ( 2009 )

This act, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, promotes the development of a sustainable transportation logistics system, in accordance with several basic principles: promoting a low-carbon transportation logistics system by reducing emission of GHGs; promoting an environment-friendly, energy and resource saving trans-portation logistics system; improving the mobility, accessibility and safety…read more

Energy Act (Act No. 7860) ( 2006 )

The Act aims to present long-term and comprehensive vision to clarify basic principles of energy policy. Under the Act, local governments must formulate and implement 5-year energy plans, which will include matters regarding stable supply of energy, measures for using renewable energy, rationalisation of energy use and reduction of GHG emissions, development of energy sources…read more

Act on the promotion of Development and Distribution of Environmentally Friendly Automobiles ( 2004 )

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy is to establish a master plan and implementation plans to promote the development and distribution of environmentally friendly automobiles (electric cars, solar powered cars, hybrid cars, fuel cell vehicles, natural gas vehicles or clean diesel vehicles). General provisions declare that the state may provide assistance to developers and…read more

Act on the Promotion of the Development, Use and Diffusion of New and Renewable Energy ( 2004 )

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is to promote the diversification of energy sources through the promotion of technological development, use and distribution of new energy and renewable energy, and the activation of the new energy industry and the renewable energy industry. The Act allows for establishing renewable portfolio standards (RPS) for minimum shares…read more

Integrated Energy Supply Act ( 1991 )

The Act’s purpose is to promote energy conservation in line with the UNFCCC principles. It calls for the development of a master plan for integrated energy (heat or heat and electricity) supply, and prescribes the matters concerning the construction, operation and safety of integrated energy facilities.…read more

Electricity Utility Act ( 1990 )

The Electricity Business Law mandates both the purchase and the fixed price of electricity generated from renewable sources. Any renewable energy generator that is connected to the grid is eligible to sell electricity to the grid at fixed prices. Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is responsible for purchasing electricity from renewables. The government compensates for…read more

Energy Use Rationalization Act ( 1980 )

The purpose of this Act is to promote green growth while contributing to international efforts to tackle climate change. The Act requires the government to consider the measures to attain effectively the goal of the national energy policy on the stability of demand and supply of the energy required for the sound development of the…read more

Eighth long-term plan for electricity supply and demand and Implementation plan for renewable 20% by 2030 ( 2017 )

The Eighth long-term plan for electricity supply and demand is an extensive document setting targets of increased production from renewable energy sources and natural gas, while reducing the country's reliance on coal and nuclear sources. The document adopts policy changes and seek an amendment of the Electricity Business Act accordingly. It charges the Minister of…read more

National Roadmap for Greenhouse Gas Reductions by 2030 ( 2016 / Mitigation Framework )

The government plans to reduce greenhouse gas output by more than 200 million tons by 2030. The plan affects eight different economic sectors. Out of those, the power generation sector will see the biggest reduction of more than 19% of greenhouse gas output.…read more

National Strategic Plans for Climate Change Adaptation 2011-2015 and 2016-2020 ( 2010 / Adaptation Framework )

The National Strategic Plan for Climate Change Adaptation involves the co-ordination and co-operation of 13 government agencies to implement 87 major projects across 10 sectors: public health, disaster management and infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, marine and fisheries, water, eco-system, climate change monitoring and projection, adaptation business and industry, and publication, education and international cooperation. Key actions…read more

Energy Master Plan ( 2008 )

The Plan has been reviewed and approved by the National Energy Committee, the Presidential Committee on Green Growth and the State Council. It is revised and re-implemented every five years over a period of twenty years. The First Energy Master Plan was introduced in 2008. The Plan is based on Article 41 of the Basic Law…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

37% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to the BAU scenario (850.6 MtCO2e)

Economy Wide | Baseline Scenario Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: business as usual scenario

Source: NDC

Allocating 219 MTCO2e reductions among the 315 million tons to reduced by 2030 to eight areas, including power generation, industry, and construction by 2030 compared with a 2016 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Supply potential of renewables set as 11% by 2035

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2035 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Energy Mas... (2008 / Executive)

20% share of renewables in electricity production by 2030

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): Eighth lon... (2017 / Executive)

Reduction of 28.2 MTCO2e from new energy industries by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Renewable Energy | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Final energy consumption reduced by 13% by 2035 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Intensity | Base Year Target | Target year: 2035 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Energy Mas... (2008 / Executive)

Reduction of 3.6 MTCO2e from public and other sectors by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Energy Intensity | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Reduction of 15% of electricity demand by 2035 against a 2014 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2035 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Energy Mas... (2008 / Executive)

Nuclear energy represent 29% of the energy mix in 2035 by 2035 against a 2014 baseline

Nuclear | Base Year Target | Target year: 2035 | Base year: 2014 | Source(s): Energy Mas... (2008 / Executive)

Nuclear to decrease at 36.1% share of electricity production by 2030 against a 2017 baseline

Nuclear | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): Eighth lon... (2017 / Executive)

Coal to decrease at 36.1% share of electricity production by 2030 against a 2017 baseline

Fuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): Eighth lon... (2017 / Executive)

Natural gas to reach 18.8% share of electricity production by 2030 against a 2017 baseline

Fuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2017 | Source(s): Eighth lon... (2017 / Executive)

Reduction of 64.5 MTCO2e in the power generation sector, which is to be achieved through adoption of low-carbon power sources, management of electricity demand, and higher electricity transmission and supply efficiency, by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Reduction of 35.8 MTCO2e from buildings by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

The industrial sector, which includes steel, petrochemicals, and 20 other business types, is to reduce 56.4 MTCO2e through energy efficiency improvements, gas development through environmentally friendly processes, refrigerant replacement, innovative technologies, and waste resource use by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Energy Intensity | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Reduction of 1 MTCO2e from agriculture and livestock by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Land Use Change | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Reduction of 25.9 MTCO2e from transportation by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

General | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Reduction of 3.6 MTCO2e from waste by 2030 against a 2016 baseline

Waste Reduction | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): National R... (2016 / Executive)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

All climate change-related laws, policies and regulations should be in harmony with the basic principles for the promotion of low-carbon, green growth under Korea’s flagship legislation, the Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth. The Framework Act, passed in 2009, builds on the National Strategy for Green Growth (2009-2050) and the Five-Year Plan for Green Growth (2009-2013).

The National Strategy for Green Growth aims to promote eco-friendly growth, enhance quality of life and contribute to international efforts to fight climate change. The Five-Year Plan outlines government actions for implementation of the Strategy, and detailed tasks for ministries and local governing entities as well as specific budgets. Under the plan, the government will spend approximately 2% of annual GDP on green growth programmes and projects. Investments will initially be geared towards infrastructure systems in order to boost the economy.

During the COP 15 meeting held in Copenhagen in 2009, Korea announced its national GHG reduction goal of 30% below business-as-usual (BAU) projection by 2020. In order to accomplish this goal, in 2010 the government established the Greenhouse Gas Inventory & Research Centre of Korea (GIR). The GIR’s main mission is to manage the national GHG inventory and analyse GHG reduction potential. It is also responsible for providing the guidelines for Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) for the National GHG Inventory, and supporting the operation of the ETS plan.

In 2010, the Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth and its Enforcement Decree entered into force. These instruments create the legislative framework for mid- and long-term emissions reduction targets, cap-and-trade, carbon tax, carbon labelling, carbon disclosure and the expansion of new and renewable energy. They also set out the target to reduce national emissions by 30% in 2020 below the BAU scenario. The Framework Act includes a system of mandatory reporting of carbon emissions by all carbon- and energy-intensive industries and provides a basis for the creation of a carbon trading system. The Enforcement Decree mandates a cap on emissions, but leaves out the operational structure, how permits will be issued, the sectoral coverage and other details, for implementing laws to decide.

The Framework Act takes precedence over other Acts in application to low-carbon green growth. Other related Acts include Energy Use Rationalisation, the Electricity Business Act, the Act to Promote the Purchase of Environment-friendly Products, and the Energy Act. These Acts must conform to the purposes and basic principles of the Framework Act, and many of them emphasise the important role environmental technology has in the economy.

In January 2014 the Ministry of Environment launched the new National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Roadmap 2020, including emissions reductions targets for seven sectors, to be reached through a range of policies, including commencing the planned emissions trading system, development of low-carbon technologies, creating GHG reduction markets and jobs. The Roadmap allocates responsibility for developing detailed sectoral GHG reduction measures to responsible ministries, while the Office for Government Policy Co-ordination is responsible for co-ordinating ministries and making period assessments of government GHG reduction performance.

Energy supply

The First Energy Master Plan, a governmental plan introduced in 2008, sets a target of 11% renewable energy in the production portfolio by 2030, and allows all households to access affordable energy. It leans on three pillars (“the 3 Es”) to dictate the direction of the national energy policy until 2030: energy security, energy efficiency, and environment. The Second Energy Master Plan, launched in January 2014, re-affirms the 11% renewable energy deployment rate target, and calls for establishing 15% of power from distributed generation by 2015, for applying advanced GHG reduction technology to new power plants. In 2012 Korea introduced a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for large energy providers, applying to the 13 public and private utilities with capacity in excess of 500MW. The RPS replaced the feed-in tariff that had previously been available for renewable energy. It required that these utilities purchase or generate energy at a rate equal to 10% of their share of total energy generation by 2022, with stepped increments every year up to 2022. The RPS system allows for trading in renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Energy demand

Energy efficiency is one of the three pillars of the First Energy Master Plan, and there is a goal of reducing energy intensity by 46% by 2030. However, a review of the First Energy Master Plan notes that energy consumption in the industrial sector and electricity demand have both increased faster than forecast from 2007-2012. The Second Energy Master Plan sets a target to reduce energy demand by 15% by 2035 through adjusting energy tax rates, electricity pricing, and ICT-based demand management systems.

Carbon pricing

According to the 2009 Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth, in order to accomplish its target of reduction of GHGs “the government may operate a system for trading emissions of GHGs by utilising market functions”. In 2011 the government enacted a GHG & Energy Target Management Scheme (TMS) as a precursor to the ETS. This scheme was designed to manage and impose specific GHG reductions and energy consumption standards on large businesses with high energy consumption and GHG emissions. Through this scheme, the government managed more than 90% of industrial GHG emissions and 70% of overall national GHG emissions. The implementation of this target management involved the development of a Measurement, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) scheme for the GHG emissions and energy consumption, which became the basis for the national ETS.

In 2012, the national assembly passed the Act on the Allocation and Trade of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rights, establishing a domestic cap-and-trade ETS, which is closely modelled on the EU’s ETS. The motivations to promote the ETS included development of green industry technologies and pushing green businesses ahead of other countries. The ETS Act, however, only called for the government to operate a system for trading emissions of GHGs.

The Enforcement Decree of the Emissions Trading Act was approved by the Cabinet in 2012. It outlined the rules and governance structure of the ETS, which opened on 12 January 2015. It also establishes two plans to implement the ETS: the Master Plan and the Allocation Plan. The Master Plan, implemented in January 2014, provides the legal basis for the ETS, and will be revised every five years, providing a 10-year plan for the operation of the market. In January 2014 MOE designated the securities exchange KRX as the official emission permits exchange for the ETS. The Ministry of the Environment submitted the Allocation Plan to the Allocation Committee and the Green Growth Committee in June 2014, calling for three implementation phases from 2015 to 2025, starting with 100% allocated permits with increased phasing in of auctioned permits.

The plans for the ETS were reviewed in 2014 after concern from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. The government has modified the plans to reduce emissions targets by 10% from previously planned levels for all industries covered by the ETS, to aim to keep the price at KRW10,000 (USD89.84) per ton of emissions by using stabilisation measures, to allow businesses to transfer to or borrow from past and future accounts, and to allow extra emissions rights for new facilities.

REDD+ and LULUCF

During Japanese rule and the Korean War, most of the forested area in Korea was destroyed by illegal logging and over-harvesting. In the late 1960s, policy and strict law enforcement on forest management were put in place. The comprehensive forest rehabilitation plan was established with the enactment of the forest law in 1961. The first (1973-1978) and second (1979-1987) National Forest Rehabilitation Plans focused on rehabilitation and restoration of devastated mountainous areas. The third National Forest Plan (1988-1997) shifted the forestry policy from greening the nation to achieving an environmentally healthy forest. The fourth National Forest Plan (1998-2007) introduced a new paradigm of sustainable forest management.

The current Fifth National Forest Plan (2008-2017) was designed to further expand the implementation of sustainable forest management in pursuit of maximising forest functions. The Plan especially highlights the importance of forest functions in response to climate change. The overall vision of the Fifth Plan is “to realise a green nation with sustainable welfare and growth” by sustainably managing forests as key resources for strengthening the nation’s economic development, land conservation and an improved quality of life.

Transportation

The Ministry of Environment intends to support transport emissions reduction through promoting low carbon transport options. A low carbon vehicle fund had been set to commence in January 2015, but in September 2014 the implementation date was delayed until 2020. The fund system is intended to establish additional charges on purchases of high GHG emitting vehicles as well as subsidies on low GHG emitting vehicles.

Adaptation

The National Framework on Low Carbon Green Growth states that the government shall establish and implement every five years a basic 20-year plan for coping with climate change. This spurred the generation of several national and local plans dealing with climate change adaptation. In 2008 Korea published the National Climate Change Adaptation Master Plan (NCCAMP) for the years 2009-2030. This was followed by the National Strategic Plan for Climate Change Adaptation 2011-15 in 2010 and the establishment of the National Government Adaptation Committee (NGAC) to implement the Plan. The NGAC is composed of the representatives of 13 ministries. The Ministry of Environment is in charge of the NGAC and also of supporting local governments.

The National Strategic Plan for Climate Change Adaptation has 87 major projects, covering 10 sectors: public health, disaster management and infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, marine and fisheries, water, eco-system, climate change monitoring and projection, adaptation business and industry, and publication, education and international cooperation. The Plan includes provisions for local action planning. The 1st Adaptation Action Plan by local governments was expected to be set up in 2012. The national climate change scenario was updated in 2011, customised and adapted for the whole country, leading to a new vulnerability assessment and the publication of an updated National Strategic Plan in 2012.

To date, South Korea does not have any litigation listed.

The legal system of South Korea is a civil law system that has its basis in the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, which is at the pinnacle of the country’s hierarchy of laws. Korea’s Acts and Subordinate Statutes form a consolidated system that is designed to prevent contradictions or conflicts.

The power to enact Acts belongs exclusively to the National Assembly, with the law-making power held by the Executive for subordinate statutes confined to matters delegated by Acts and other matters necessary to enforce Acts. Since such subordinate statutes are required to conform to Acts, the National Assembly is the supreme law-making organ. The most recent National Assembly elections took place in April 2016. The next election is expected for 2020. The last Presidential Election took place in December 2012. The next Presidential election is due to take place in 2017.

The law-making process can be initiated by the national assembly or by government representatives. In the first case, a bill is proposed by 10 or more national assembly representatives. The proposed bill is deliberated by the standing committee. After the bill passes the committee, it is referred to the plenary session. Bills that pass the plenary session will then be sent to the government to be promulgated. Bills can also be submitted by a relevant ministry. Other ministries will be consulted and a public notice will be issued. The bill is then reviewed by the Ministry of Legislation (MOLEG), an independent and specialised self-legislative control agency within the government in order to exercise overall control of and co-ordinate the government’s legislative activities and to review whether individual bills contravene higher laws or conflict with relevant laws. The bill is deliberated at the State Council and sent for presidential approval. After that it is submitted to the National Assembly for decision. Once it is passed in the National Assembly, it returns to MOLEG and is finally promulgated. Presidential decrees are promulgated directly after their approval by the President and do not go through the National Assembly.

Last modified 21 August, 2017