Responding to Climate Change

Responding to Climate Change

Global Experiences and the Korean Perspective

KDI/EWC series on Economic Policy

Edited by Chin Hee Hahn, Sang-Hyop Lee and Kyoung-Soo Yoon

This topical book explores the global experiences of responding to climate change, with perspectives from Australia, China, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United States, as well as the International Energy Agency.

Chapter 8: Low Carbon Green Growth and Energy Policy in Korea

Jin-Gyu Oh

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics


Jin-Gyu Oh INTRODUCTION The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, provided key findings in its fourth assessment report (Pachauri and Reisinger 2007). The findings include the fact that eleven of the warmest years, since instrumental records have been kept, occurred during the previous twelve years, along with additional evidence for the acceleration of climate change. The IPCC also reported that the past 100-year increase was 0.74 degrees Celsius (°C). If we do not take immediate action to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the average temperature is projected to increase in the range of 1.1° to 6.4° C by the end of this century. In addition, 20–30 percent of plant and animal species would be in danger of extinction if the temperature increase were to exceed 1.5–2.5° C. These findings suggest the imperativeness of taking action to mitigate climate change. Under the 1997 Kyoto protocol, developed countries are bound to reduce their GHG emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012, and the international community has initiated negotiations for the post-2012 period. These negotiations address the commitment of developed countries and developing countries after 2012. Korea assumes the obligation as a developing country under the Kyoto protocol. Ranked tenth in terms of GHG emissions, Korea needs to be proactive in mitigating climate change through aggressive national policies and measures. The energy sector accounts for 84 percent of GHG emissions in Korea, both posing challenges and...

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