Global Experiences and the Korean Perspective
KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy
Edited by Chin Hee Hahn, Sang-Hyop Lee and Kyoung-Soo Yoon
Climate change is one of the most important issues in the world economy nowadays. Without significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, it will hinder economic development and the sustained growth of humankind. Confronting this global problem, governments (mostly of developed countries) have been making efforts to mitigate and adapt to it. These efforts have launched international collaboration, resulting in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 1997 Kyoto protocol. There are ongoing negotiations for the post-Kyoto era beyond 2012, when more countries are expected to participate in the collective action. Accordingly, many countries are introducing, expanding, or improving their policy measures to respond to climate change. It appears, however, that many obstacles lie ahead in achieving an efficient and equitable mitigation policy framework, on both the global and the national levels. Owing to different economic conditions and the “public good” nature of climate change, procedures to secure global agreement are being considerably delayed. Domestic policies are often distorted because of conflicts of interest between different industries and regions, and between firms and taxpayers. Political procedures for environmental regulation raise problems of dynamic consistency and commitment. These challenges are more severe in developing and newly developed countries such as Korea. Concerns that regulation of greenhouse gas emissions could seriously halt economic growth make the adoption of mitigation policy difficult. Governments are faced with difficult considerations when trying to take a balanced position between economic development and environmental protection. Traditional industrial policies and regulations often conflict with emissions...