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South Korea Asks Companies to Cut CO2 Emissions 3% in 2013

South Korea will ask companies to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a combined 17.2 million metric tons next year, equivalent to a 3 percent reduction and twice as much as this year’s target.

The guidelines assume that the 377 companies subject to quotas would emit 570.6 million tons of carbon dioxide next year if there is no program to curb emissions, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in an e-mailed statement today. The government has asked companies to reduce emissions by 8 million tons this year.

Posco, Asia’s third-biggest steelmaker by output, was given the largest reduction target at 2.48 million tons, followed by Hyundai Steel Co. with 487,000 tons and Ssangyong Cement Industrial Co. with 443,000 tons, according to the statement. The government plans to impose fines from 2014 on companies that fail to meet their quotas.

South Korea, the world’s eighth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, is mapping out regulations to boost participation by companies in curtailment efforts. The government pledged in 2009 to limit the country’s total emissions by 2020 to 30 percent below the estimated level it would have reached with no reduction plan.

The government also passed a bill in May to establish a cap-and-trade program in 2015, a market-based system that requires companies exceeding their emission quotas to buy permits from those that discharge less.

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