South Korean firms oppose early introduction of carbon trading

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Seoul, Feb 7 (Yonhap) South Korea''s major economicorganisations called on the government today to significantlypostpone its plan to introduce a carbon emissions tradingsystem in 2012, saying it could hurt the country''s industrialcompetitiveness.

The five economic organisations, including the Federationof Korean Industries, the largest industry lobby in thecountry, urged the government to delay the move at least until2015.

"The industrial circle opposes the introduction of thecarbon emissions trading system, based on uncertainties of theglobal negotiations on climate change, the delay ofintroduction of the system by major economies and possibleweakening of the country''s international competitiveness,"they said in a joint statement.

The economic organisations noted that China, the world''slargest producer of greenhouse gas, and the world''s secondlargest greenhouse gas producer, the United States, as well asother major advanced economies, including Japan and Australia,do not have any immediate plans to introduce the system orhave delayed or scrapped their earlier plans to introduce thesystem.

"And therefore, it is not desirable to begin discussingthe introduction of a carbon emissions trading system (inSouth Korea) until there is an international consensus for theneed of such a system," said the statement.

The carbon emissions trading system is the backbone of agovernment pledge, announced in September 2009, to voluntarilycut the country''s carbon emissions by 30 percent from itsbusiness-as-usual levels in 2020.

The organisations, however, said the introduction of acarbon trading system in the country will also significantlyadd to the production cost of most manufacturers that accountfor a majority of all businesses in the country.

They claimed the country''s businesses will have toshoulder an additional cost of some 4.2 trillion won (USD3.79billion) a year even if 100 per cent of purchasing rights orcredits were provided for free, as many companies will have tobuy additional credit.(Yonhap)

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