Different Paths Towards the Same Goal? Comparing the Implementation and Performance of CO2 Emissions Reduction Regulations in the EU and South Korea

in: EU-Korea Relations in a Changing World, edited by Axel Marx et al. KU Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies Papers, January 2013, p. 195-220

27 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2014

See all articles by Stefan Niederhafner

Stefan Niederhafner

Seoul National University - Department of PoliSci & IR

Lee Chan Song

Seoul National University

Date Written: January 20, 2013

Abstract

This paper compares the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) and South Korea’s Target Management System (TMS) with two goals: evaluate the potential for actual CO2 mitigation in each system and investigate the compatibility of the EU ETS and the Korean TMS to assess possibilities for regulation transfer and co-operation.

Both systems are part of larger national or supra-national frameworks of environmental policies, while at the same time connected to the global climate protection regime within the UNFCCC framework. Both systems address ‘heavy emitters’, cover more than 50% of their total territorial CO2 emissions and try to realize their reduction targets through an approach that goes beyond classic command-and-control policy. The EU tried to realize its 8% Kyoto protocol reduction commitment by introducing an cap-and-trade system which relies on market mechanisms to achieve the reductions. The non-annex I country Korea tried to establish itself as a frontrunner in climate change activities by combining environmental efforts with an enhancement of its economic prospects and its global influence. The Korean TMS established a regulatory setting based on reductions against business-as-usual projections. At the centre of this system are annual negotiation cycles, in which the government and private operators directly negotiate company-specific reduction targets.

Both emission mitigation systems are described within their institutional, political and cultural contexts and, applying a longitudinal perspective, the decisions explained that lead to the different regulatory settings. Furthermore, their performances are evaluated, and several explanations for their shortcomings explored.

Additionally, areas of possible collaboration and regulatory transfer are explored, both bilaterally between the two territories as well as regarding EU-South Korea collaboration within the multilateral framework on global climate change policy. The paper describes how the EU and Korea could establish CO2 emissions allowances trade between the two systems and elaborates on how target management systems could be integrated with a global ETS as implicated in the Kyoto-Protocol, making them a potential contribution to solve the grid-lock in the negotiations on global greenhouse gas mitigation politics.

Keywords: climate change politics, CO2 mitigation, emission trading, target management system, EU, South Korea

Suggested Citation

Niederhafner, Stefan and Chan Song, Lee, Different Paths Towards the Same Goal? Comparing the Implementation and Performance of CO2 Emissions Reduction Regulations in the EU and South Korea (January 20, 2013). in: EU-Korea Relations in a Changing World, edited by Axel Marx et al. KU Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies Papers, January 2013, p. 195-220. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2373417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2373417

Stefan Niederhafner (Contact Author)

Seoul National University - Department of PoliSci & IR ( email )

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Lee Chan Song

Seoul National University ( email )

Kwanak-gu
Seoul, 151-742
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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