The South Korean government is not budging on the amount of CO2 companies can emit under the ETS despite industry protests, a senior official said Monday, according to Nikkei.
Claims from energy producers and manufacturers that they have received 20% fewer allowances than they need have left the Korea ETS paralysed since its January launch.
But the government stands firm on its decision to limit CO2 emissions under the scheme to just below 1.7 billion tonnes over the 2015-2017 period, according to the Nikkei news agency.
“We believe the amount of permits was appropriately made. It is in the nature of the emissions market that the government takes a mandatory top-down approach, as it sets the national target and makes the allocations accordingly,” Nikkei quoted Lee Hyung-sup, a senior environment ministry official, saying.
Industry initially succeeded in delaying the start of the scheme by two years, and some observers have suggested the government may eventually give in to strong pressure on allocation levels from several of South Korea’s most powerful industry lobbies.
But Environment Minister Yoon Seong-kyu told Yonhap News big emitters will have to clean up their act:
“International pressure on the emissions reduction is growing, and our industries need to get ready to respond. We have no choice but to adopt low-carbon industries into our system. Companies simply have to recognize this,” he said.