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  July 13th, 2016 | Written by

EU Launches Emissions Trading Projects in Korea, China

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  • The Korean Emissions Trading System is the main policy measure for achieving Korea's greenhouse gas reduction targets.
  • The EU has more than a decade of experience with the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS).
  • The EU is providing technical assistance for the Korean and Chinese emissions trading systems.

The European Union has launched a cooperative project with the Republic of Korea to support the implementation of East Asia’s first national emissions trading system.

The project is valued at $3.9 million and is expected to run for three years.

The recent announcement follows on a development in April when the EU and China launched a similar collaborative project.

The Korean Emissions Trading System (KETS), established in 2015, is the main policy measure for achieving Korea’s greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Paris Agreement—the new global climate change agreement agreed by world leaders last December. With more than a decade of experience with the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), the EU is providing technical assistance during the early years of operation of the KETS.

“We need resolute action by all countries to keep climate change in check as we agreed in Paris,” said Miguel Arias Cañete, European commissioner for climate action and energy.

In April, the European Commission also announced it was stepping up its collaboration with China on emissions trading, with a new $11 million project, also funded under the EU’s Foreign Partnership Instrument. Emissions trading is playing an increasingly important role in China, where a nationwide carbon market will be launched in 2017.

The three-year project will coincide with the launch of a nationwide carbon market in China. It will build on the existing cooperation project which started in 2014 and has supported the roll-out of seven pilot schemes across the country.

“China is sending an important signal that emissions trading is a cost-effective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” said Cañete. “The world’s second largest economy will be using emissions trading to reach its Paris pledge, and not in the distant future, but next year.”

As well as addressing challenges related to the setting up of a national emissions trading system, the new cooperation project will also establish a regular dialogue to discuss developments on emissions trading in China and the EU.