The Republic of Korea believes that addressing climate change does not place a burden but provides opportunities to create future drivers of economic growth. As such, Korea has actively engaged in efforts to tackle climate change. In 2009, Korea announced its voluntary mitigation target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from the business-as-usual (BAU) level by 2020. It has also enacted the Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth in 2011 to provide the legal basis for climate policies and actions. The Framework Act was followed by important measures across all sectors, including the GHG and Energy Target Management System (TMS) (2012), National Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Roadmap (2014), Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) (2014) and National Climate Change Adaptation Plans (2010, 2015).
As an active participant of the climate change negotiations, the Republic of Korea has endeavored to contribute to the successful launch of the new climate regime. Throughout the climate change negotiation process, it has played a bridging role between developed and developing countries, considering in a balanced manner both the historical responsibilities of the developed countries and the increasing trend of emissions for the developing countries.
As an effort to join international community’s harmonized response to climate change, the Korean government ratified the Paris Agreement which was adopted Dec 12. 2015, and deposited the instrument of ratification to the United Nations Secretariat on November 3, 2016, and it took into force domestically in December 2, 2016.
In June 2015, Korea submitted its ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), one of the key components of the new climate regime in which all countries participate in taking climate action. With a view to accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy, Korea has set its ambitious economy-wide target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37% from the BAU emission level by 2030. In 2021, Korea updated its 2030 NDC, making commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 40% compared to the 2018 levels, which shows its determination to address climate change.
On December 6, 2016, the Korean government adopted the Basic Plan for Climate Change Response and the Road Map to Achieve National Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals, in order to set up domestic framework to implement the Paris Agreement. The Republic of Korea will continue domestic efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and to address climate change. At the same time, it will play an active part in the global efforts to ensure that the successful implementation of the agreement, constructively participating in the follow-up negotiations for the Paris Agreement.