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2050 Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth kicks off
On Oct. 26, the Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth officially started its work. Unlike its predecessors, the National Council on Climate and Air Quality and the Carbon Neutrality Committee, the commission has its foundation under the Framework Act on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth for Coping with Climate Crisis, which came into force last March. Having experienced all three committees, the commission seems to have particularly more solid support compared to its predecessors thanks to the underlying basis for its roles and responsibilities engrained in the statute.
Pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of the Carbon Neutrality Act, the commission is tasked with various roles that are critical to the nation's path to carbon neutrality. The commission will review and decide on major policies for transition to carbon neutrality, suggest a mid-to long-term direction for the country and reduction targets in carbon emissions and the master plan for the country. The commission will also monitor how the various policies are implemented and engage in collaboration with authorities in other countries.
The commission comprises a total of 55 commissioners ― 22 from the government and 33 from the private sector. The commissioners from the government are ministers from each ministry. As for the commissioners from the private sector, they were significantly down-sized compared to the Carbon Neutrality Committee for specialization and efficiency, and were mostly filled with newly appointed experts hired from academia.
To achieve a swift decision-making process, eight subcommittees of the Carbon Neutrality Committee were integrated into four subcommittees of the commission in charge of each of the following missions: greenhouse gas reduction; energy & industry transition; fair transition & climate adaptation; and green growth & international cooperation.
At the first plenary session presided over by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo on the day of the inauguration ceremony, the minister of environment and the minister of trade, industry & energy announced the strategies to promote carbon neutrality and green growth. The minister of science & ICT also announced the strategies for technology innovation, followed by discussions among the commissioners. Major strategies presented include the following: balanced power mix of nuclear power and renewable energy, support for fair transition to carbon neutrality by tax deductions, adopting rational regulatory system, and penetrating into new markets led by private sectors.
The commission also aims to support core projects with the Climate Response Funds, boost private investments through improving the emission trading scheme and K-taxonomy, and convert 1,200 internal combustion engine parts suppliers into next-generation mobility parts suppliers by 2030. The commission will take steps to closely coordinate with major countries such as the U.S. and the EU for climate response while stepping up other international cooperation through green Official Development Assistance (ODA) and international carbon reduction projects.
The commission's (already long) to-do list did not stop there. In particular, the first plenary session focused on technology innovation with as much weight as the policy directions, which was unprecedented in the history of the preceding committees I have joined. This tells us how strongly motivated the commission is on technologies.
Notably, the commission will be selecting, by the end of this year, the top 100 core carbon-neutral technologies Page 1 of 2 tailored to the unique economic and geopolitical environment that Korea is facing, including its industrial structure and energy security. The commission will also develop technology roadmaps for each sector with specific milestones and targets identified in conjunction with carbon neutrality by 2050 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) by 2030. This is not the end of the Commission's tasks.
To overcome limitations in domestic resources, the Commission will establish “strategies for global carbonneutrality technology cooperation” to lead technological innovation at a global level in cooperation with leading countries by next year. The commission will also support large-scale demo projects for swift introduction of such technologies into the market, and establish an inter-ministry council to identify and resolve regulatory issues in advance.
Based on the strategies for carbon neutrality & green growth and technological innovation discussed at the inauguration ceremony, the Commission plans to establish the “National Carbon-Neutrality Green Growth Master Plan” by March 2023. The plan will include annual reduction targets for each sector and timelines with detailed policies for each means of reduction.
This is a plan that has its statutory basis under Article 10 of the Carbon Neutrality Act. Once the Commission and the State Council finalize the plan, Korea will for the first time have a reduction target in place for the immediately following year, not in 10 years. In addition, the Commission is expected to work on detailed follow-up policies for the time being, such as adjusting the reduction targets of the energy and industry sectors within the 2030 NDC, establishing the technology innovation plans, and advancing carbon & energy related regulations.
While listening to the ministers' presentations and discussions among the commissioners at the plenary session, I could sense that the following three, most-emphasized topics during the discussion would pick up speed: support for private sectors, technology innovation, and regulatory reform.
At the center of the private-led carbon neutrality & green growth pursued by the government lies corporations as key players. Nimble companies will take this unprecedented phase as an opportunity to thrive, by aligning their business strategies with the series of detailed policies that we are about to see.
Kim Sung-woo, head of Environment & Energy Research Institute at Kim & Chang.
출처 : The Korea Times, 2022.11.13
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