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  • Seoul secures 660,000 tons of greenhouse gas emission right worth 12 million dollars

    SMG 317
    • - Seoul reduces greenhouse gas, equivalent to planting 100 million pine trees, and increases tax revenue
    • - Funding for greenhouse gas reduction and climate change to be set up through secured emissions and proceeds from sales
    • - Improving business facilities to consistently reduce greenhouse gas

    SEOUL, South Korea, August 4, 2017 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced that it has secured about 663,000 tons of emission right by reducing greenhouse gas from businesses within its jurisdiction after the enforcement of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2015. The system achieved satisfying results as it reduced the causes of climate change and increased tax revenues by selling emission rights.

    The ETS is a system where the government allocates an annual emission limit to each greenhouse gas-emitting corporate. If a corporate exceeds the set quota, it has to purchase additional emission rights or pay a penalty fee. Also, a corporate that achieves greater reductions is allowed to sell their surplus emission rights. Currently, a total of 600 corporates and local governments including the SMG utilize the system.

    As for Seoul, the system is applied to 23 basic environmental facilities including resource recovery and water supply facilities, sewage treatment centers, and landfills. Each facility has made consistent efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving efficiency and conserving energy.

    Through this effort, the SMG achieved cutbacks worth 165,000 tons of emissions in 2015 and 146,000 tons of emissions in 2016 from the greenhouse gas emission limit set by the government. Also, their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas prior to the enforcement of the system was acknowledged and resulted in securing in total 663,000 tons worth of emission rights.

    The greenhouse gas emission rights secured by the SMG is effective as planting 100 million pine trees and worth around 13.5 billion Korean won (12 million US dollars) when converted based on the trade market price set by the Korea Exchange, which has been designated as the Certified Emission Reduction Exchange by South Korea.

    • ○ Greenhouse gas emission rights trade market price: KRW 20,350 (USD 18) per ton (As of July 2017, The Korea Exchange)
    • ○ 30-year-old pine tree’s annual absorption of greenhouse gas: 6.6㎏ per tree (Standard Carbon Absorption of major trees, The Korea Forest Service)

    On July 13, the SMG amended its operation ordinance and set up a climate change fund as a measure to actively participate in greenhouse gas reduction and emission trading. This will serve as a foothold in managing the buying and selling of emission rights.

    In addition, the SMG has made multilateral efforts to reduce greenhouse gas in response to climate change. For example, it has pushed to secure reduced greenhouse gas as the Certified Emission Reduction through eco-friendly energy supply programs such as supplying buildings and households with “mini” solar photovoltaic (PV) power generators.

    This year, the PV power generator supply program as the core item for the One Less Nuclear Power Initiative will be prioritized. Its validity will be evaluated by certified agencies to confirm the reduction quantity, and then secured as certified emission reductions.

    The Certified Emission Reduction allows additional emission rights to be obtained when the government gives recognition and credit to the reduction of greenhouse gas in facilities that do not utilize the emission trading system.

    Greenhouse gas reduction is no longer an option, but a necessity due to abnormal climate conditions such as heat wave, drought and heavy rain that have become a norm. The SMG will continue to take lead in reducing greenhouse gas in the public sector and set up a climate change response model to increase public revenue.