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S. Korea Sees Carbon Legislation Possible After April Election

South Korea, the fastest-growing producer of greenhouse gases among rich nations, may approve a law on setting up emissions trading in 2015 after the April 11 general elections, a top climate policy official said.

“We believe the bill will be passed” as long as lawmakers schedule a vote after the elections, Young Soo Gil, chairman of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, told reporters today in Seoul.

Lawmakers unexpectedly delayed voting on the bill on Feb. 27, even after Asia’s fourth-largest economy agreed to push back the program’s start by two years to 2015 as the largest companies said it will hurt competitiveness. The government is working to reschedule the vote, with a target of April or May, Nam Kwang Hee, director general of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, said March 19.

A multiparty panel of the assembly agreed last month on the need to create a market to help reduce carbon-dioxide discharges. The bill has to go to the nation’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee and then to the assembly’s plenary session, the last step for the law.

If the session isn’t held by the end of May, pending bills will expire when the new national assembly is formed in June, Young told reporters.

“As ruling and opposition parties agreed on the need of the legislation, the bill is likely to be passed at the assembly’s plenary session without big changes,” Young said.

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