The EU and South Korea on Tuesday announced that they would launch an initiative next year to increase technical cooperation on their emissions trading schemes, potentially laying the first pieces of groundwork towards an eventual linkage between the two markets.
In a joint statement released following the eighth Republic of Korea-EU Summit, which took place in Seoul on Tuesday, the countries said they would also commit to strengthening bilateral cooperation on climate action and would work more closely together in international forums other than the UNFCCC.
The carbon market collaboration will receive funding through the EU Partnership Instrument, which is tasked with advancing the bloc’s strategic interests and promoting its core values.
South Korea was represented at the summit by President Park Geun-hye, while the EU was represented by European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom.
“The leaders emphasized the importance of accelerating the implementation of climate action between now and 2020 and confirmed that they would continue to look for further pre-2020 mitigation opportunities,” the statement said.
The EU wants to link its ETS to other nations with similar markets, in an effort to develop a global price for CO2.
It is currently in advanced discussions with Switzerland about linking respective markets, with those talks expected to wrap up and an agreement be finalised later this year.
In 2012, the EU agreed to connect its market to an Australian national ETS later this decade, but the plan was scrapped after Australia’s carbon pricing laws were repealed by now-deposed Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The EU has is also currently helping China design its pilot and national schemes.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org