S. Korea launches taskforce to hammer out CO2 market rules

BEIJING, Feb 21 (Reuters Point Carbon) - South Korea has established a task force that will set carbon caps for almost 600 companies and draft rules ahead of a 2015 launch of its national emissions trading scheme, the government said.

The Ministry of Environment will head the inter-ministerial task force to consult with industry and establish the rules before June 2014.

The first proposals are expected this summer, a ministry spokesperson said.

“The main tasks for the new organization are to formulate the National Allocation Plan which needs to be finalized before June 2014, designate a market for emissions trading, and create a transparent scheme that is measurable, reportable and verifiable,” said a statement published on the ministry website.

South Korea has pledged to restrict greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 to 30 percent below business-as-usual levels.

Last year parliament approved legislation to launch an emissions market on January 1, 2015.

The new task force, which will be led by Park Chun-gyu, will decide how big a share of the national emission reduction target shall be borne by ETS participants, and set specific caps on each facility brought into the market.

It will also make a number of operational decisions, such as choosing an exchange to host trading of emission permits under the scheme, ministry spokesperson Joo Ji-hyung said.

The legislation passed last year specifically banned the use of U.N.-issued offsets in the Korean ETS until the end of 2020.

But Joo said one of the group’s tasks will be to decide whether - and how - to include the use of foreign offsets and potential linkages to other markets in the period after 2020.

Australia and New Zealand have both expressed interest in tying their domestic carbon markets to South Korea, the world’s 10th biggest emitter.

By Stian Reklev - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it