Policy Overview

In December 2021, the South Korean government submitted a target to reduce 40% of national GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 2018 levels as part of its Nationally Determined Contribution, after officially committing to it at COP26. The target is more ambitious than South Korea’s previous 26.3% emissions reduction target, and was legislated under the Neutrality and Green Growth Framework Act.

The proposed increase in the target was first announced in August 2021, with the government making an official domestic announcement of the target in October 2021. Following this announcement, the government held a series of online forums and meetings with stakeholders including industry, labour, civil society, youth groups etc.

In response to industry requests, the new government under President Yoon Sok-yeol announced in May 2022 that it would reconsider the 2030 target. In July 2022, the government announced that it would keep the 2030 target, but would revise implementation plans to reflect a “realistic carbon neutrality."

Evidence Profile



opposing not supporting mixed/unclear
supporting strongly supporting

Policy Engagement Overview

The aggregated evidence of corporate and industry engagement with the update of the 2030 NDC GHG emissions reduction target shows significant opposition from large cross-sector associations and heavy industry. In contrast to the vocal support for the 2050 target, individual corporations have remained largely silent on the 2030 target.

Policy Engagement Trends

Major cross-sector industry associations opposed raised ambition for the 2030 emissions reduction target. The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF), Korea International Trade Association (KITA), and Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) have all opposed the higher reduction target. These associations cited concerns around impacts on the international competitiveness of Korean industry. Among these, FKI was the most negative and has advocated for reviewing the target.

Industry associations representing the steel and automotive sectors have also strongly opposed the raised 2030 target. The Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) and the Korea Iron and Steel Association (KOSA) both emphasized concerns about their sectors being able to achieve the reduction targets. The Korea Petroleum Association and Korea Petrochemical Industry Association have also not supported the 2030 targets in their statements.

Many companies that publicly supported the 2050 target have not commented on the 2030 reduction target, including companies such as LG Chem and POSCO. The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) appeared to support the raised target.

Evidence Profile



opposing not supporting mixed/unclear
supporting strongly supporting

Live Lobbying Alerts

KPIA appears to not support Korea's updated 2030 NDC

03 October 2022

At the ‘Evaluation of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality target and check the role and progress of carbon reduction R&D’ Forum held in the National Assembly Members’ Building on September 22nd, the Vice President of KPIA, Song Yoo-jong, appeared to not support the increased ambition of the 2030 NDC of Korea, stating “it is made based on an ideal justification rather than a realistic analysis” and that the target would not be achieved without “economic recession” such as “production stop”.

9월 22일, 국회의원 회관에서 열린 ‘2050 탄소중립 목표에 대한 평가 및 탄소 감축 R&D의 역할과 추진현황 점검’ 포럼에서, 송유종 한국석유화학협회 부회장은 2030 국가 온실가스 감축목표 상향을 지지하지 않는 것으로 나타났습니다. 그는 감축목표가 “냉정한 분석보다는 이상적 당위에 의하여 이루어진” 것이고, “생산 중단”과 같은 “경제 후퇴”가 없이는 목표를 달성할 수 없다고 말했습니다.

Korea Semiconductor Industry Association appears unsupportive of South Korea's 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target

17 March 2023

​​In a March 13th article by Chosun Ilbo, the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA) appeared to express opposition to the South Korean Government's 2030 National Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target, saying that it would be hard for the Korean semiconductor industry to survive if “the cost burden increases” in the face of fierce price competition with foreign companies.

전국경제인연합회, 한국의 2030 기후 목표를 지지하지 않는다

22 November 2022

COP27 개막 다음날인 11월 7일에 발표된 보도자료에서, 전국경제인연합회(전경련)는 2021년 11월 COP26에 제출된 한국의 상향된 2030년 NDC 배출량 감축 목표에 대한 '재검토'를 촉구다. 전경련이 국내 500대 제조업 기업을 대상 의뢰한 설문조사 결과, 응답자의 48%가 2030 NDC의 ‘달성 가능성’이 '낮다' 또는 '매우 낮다',고 답했고, 82%가 NDC의 ‘재검토가 필요하다'고 답했다.

전국경제인연합회(전경련)는 11월 7일 보도자료를 통해 2030년 석탄 비중 감축과 재생에너지 비중 향상 목표의 달성 가능성에 대한 우려를 강조하며, 국내 에너지믹스의의 원자력 비중을 향상하는 등 '현실적인 에너지믹스 정책'을 1079215촉구했다.

Korea Petrochemical Industry Association unsupportive of South Korea's 2030 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target

17 March 2023

​​In a March 13th article by Chosun Ilbo, the Korea Petrochemical Industry Association (KPIA) appeared unsupportive of the South Korean Government's 2030 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Reduction Target, arguing that it would be “impossible to reduce GHG emissions by 20%” while increasing ethylene production.

Entities Engaged on Policy

Influencemap Performance BandOrganizationEngagement Intensity
EKorea Automobile & Mobility Association (KAMA) (formerly Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association)22AutomobilesAsia
D-Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF)16All SectorsAsia
E-Federation of Korean Industries (FKI)20All SectorsAsia
D+Hyundai Steel Co12Metals & MiningAsia
DKorea Iron and Steel Association (KOSA)21Metals & MiningAsia
D+Korea International Trade Association (KITA)14All SectorsAsia
D+Korea Business Council for Sustainable Development (KBCSD)8All SectorsAsia
D+Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)28UtilitiesAsia
DKorea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)26All SectorsAsia
EKorea Petroleum Association (KPA)12EnergyAsia
D-SK Inc.15All SectorsAsia
D-Korea Petrochemical Industry Association (KPIA)8ChemicalsAsia
B+Korea New and Renewable Energy Association (KNREA)11EnergyAsia
D+Lotte Chemical10ChemicalsAsia
DGS Caltex11EnergyAsia
CLG Chem28ChemicalsAsia
D+SK Innovation Co12EnergyAsia
E+Korea Independent Power Producers Association (IPPA)10EnergyAsia
N/AKorea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA)4Information TechnologyAsia