By Na Jeong-ju
South Korea will announce its long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions this month to become the first emerging country in the world to set up such a target, Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday.
The Presidential Committee on Green Growth is seeking to cut the country’s combined carbon emissions by 4 percent by 2020 from 2005 by promoting the use of bio and nuclear energy, and energy-efficient technologies.
The government’s move is expected to draw a backlash from industries, which have already called the goal unrealistic.
Business associations have complained that firms will have to make additional investments to update their production lines as recommended by the government to reduce emissions.
The committee is also considering introducing daylight saving time for the first time since 1988 in a bid to reduce energy consumption.
The panel proposed the measures in a meeting with President Lee Myung-bak at Cheong Wa Dae.
``We will set up the greenhouse gas emission goal at the planned meeting between President Lee Myung-bak and Cabinet ministers on Nov. 17,’’ said Kim Sang-hyup, presidential secretary for green growth policies. ``The meeting will also focus on a set of guidelines for businesses and households to cut carbon emissions and save energy.’’
As the host country of the Group of 20 Summit in November next year, Korea wants to play an active role in reducing global dependence on fossil fuels. The country will promote its own environmental measures at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Denmark’s Copenhagen next month, officials said.
At the conference, countries are expected to set up new targets for global carbon emission control. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed nations have to slash their emissions by an average of 5 percent from their 1990 levels by 2012. Korea is not currently obligated to do so, but will become the first emerging nation to set up carbon reduction goal.
On Tuesday, President Lee proposed the establishment of a ``registry’’ under the United Nations to monitor greenhouse gas emissions of developing countries, saying both developed and emerging economies need to work under a shared goal to address global warming. The proposal seeks to address sharp differences between countries over a future climate change treaty.