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Korea's Green Growth Strategy: Mitigating Climate Change and Developing New Growth Engines


  • Randall S. Jones


  • Byungseo Yoo



Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions almost doubled between 1990 and 2005, the highest growth rate in the OECD area. Korea recently set a target of reducing emissions by 30% by 2020 relative to a “business as usual” baseline, implying a 4% cut from the 2005 level. Achieving this objective in a cost-effective manner requires moving from a strategy based on voluntary commitments by firms to market-based instruments. The priority is to establish a comprehensive cap-and-trade scheme, supplemented, if necessary, by carbon taxes in areas not covered by trading. Achieving a significant cut in emissions requires a shift from energy-intensive industries to low-carbon ones. Korea is strongly committed to promoting green growth through its Five-Year Plan, which envisages spending 2% of GDP per year through 2013. One challenge is to ensure that these expenditures are efficiently targeted so as to develop green technologies, while avoiding the risks inherent in industrial policy. Stratégie de croissance verte pour la Corée : Lutter contre le changement climatique et tirer parti des nouvelles sources de croissance Les émissions de gaz à effet de serre ont pratiquement doublé en Corée entre 1990 et 2005, soit la progression la plus forte dans la zone de l’OCDE. La Corée s’est récemment fixé un objectif de réduction des émissions de 30 % en 2020 par rapport au statu quo, ce qui représente une baisse de 4 % par rapport au niveau de 2005. Pour réaliser cet objectif avec le meilleur rapport coût/efficacité possible, il faut passer d’une stratégie reposant sur des engagements volontaires des entreprises à la mise en place d’instruments de marché. La priorité est d’établir un dispositif complet de plafonnement et transfert, complété, si nécessaire, par une taxe sur le carbone dans les secteurs qui ne sont pas couverts par des permis d’émission. Réduire sensiblement les émissions implique de privilégier les industries sobres en carbone par rapport à celles à forte intensité énergétique. La Corée est déterminée à promouvoir la croissance verte via son plan quinquennal, qui prévoit de dépenser à cet effet 2 % du PIB par an jusqu’en 2013. L’un des principaux enjeux est de veiller à ce que ces dépenses soient efficacement ciblées sur le développement des technologies vertes tout en évitant les risques que présente toute politique industrielle.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall S. Jones & Byungseo Yoo, 2011. "Korea's Green Growth Strategy: Mitigating Climate Change and Developing New Growth Engines," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 798, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:798-en

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Bowen, 2014. "Green growth," Chapters,in: Handbook of Sustainable Development, chapter 15, pages 237-251 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    carbon tax; certificats verts; changement climatique; Clean Development Mechanism; climate change; croissance verte; efficacité énergétique; emissions trading system; energy efficiency; energy subsidies; environmental taxes; green certificates; green growth; greenhouse gas emissions; Korean economy; Kyoto protocol; mécanisme pour un développement propre; National Strategy for Green Growth; Protocole de Kyoto; R&D; R&D; renewable energy; stratégie nationale pour la croissance verte; subventions d'énergie; système d'échange de permis d'émission; taxes carbone; taxes environmentales; économie coréenne; émissions de gaz à effet de serre; énergies renouvelables;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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