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

Korea Petrochemical Industry Association unsupportive of South Korea's 2030 GHG 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.

Federation of Korean Industries unsupportive of South Korea's 2030 climate targets

22 November 2022

In a November 7th press release published the day after COP27 started, the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) appeared to advocate for a ‘re-examination’ of South Korea’s more ambitious 2030 NDC emissions reduction target, which was submitted to COP26 in November 2021. FKI referred to the results of a survey it commissioned among the top 500 manufacturing companies of Korea, in which 48% of respondents said that the feasibility of achieving the 2030 NDC would be ‘low’ or ‘very low’, and 82% of respondents advocated that ‘a re-examination is necessary’.

In a November 7th press release, Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) advocated for a ‘realistic energy mix policy’ that increases the proportion of nuclear energy in South Korea’s energy mix, stressing concerns over the possibility of achieving the country’s 2030 coal phase-down target and the renewable energy increase target.

Korea Semiconductor Industry Association appears unsupportive of South Korea's 2030 GHG 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.

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.

Entities Engaged on Policy

Influencemap Performance BandOrganizationEngagement Intensity
E-Federation of Korean Industries (FKI)20All SectorsAsia
DKorea International Trade Association (KITA)13All SectorsAsia
C-SK E&S11EnergyAsia
D+Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)27UtilitiesAsia
D-Korea Enterprises Federation (KEF)16All SectorsAsia
C+LG Chem20ChemicalsAsia
D+Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)25All SectorsAsia
C-SK Hynix8Information TechnologyAsia
DSK Inc.15All SectorsAsia
B+Korea New and Renewable Energy Association (KNREA)11EnergyAsia
D+POSCO25Metals & MiningAsia
D+Lotte Chemical8ChemicalsAsia
D+Samsung Electronics11Information TechnologyAsia
D+SK Innovation Co9EnergyAsia