South Korean conglomerates managed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9.3 per cent over the past two years, according to a report on November 3, suggesting they face a tough task in meeting the government’s 2050 carbon neutrality target.
CEO Score, a corporate tracker based in Seoul, said major companies in the country curbed more than 46 million tonnes of greenhouse gas output in 2020, compared to 2018 figures.
The calculation is based on emissions data from 197 companies in South Korea’s top 500 conglomerates that are obligated to report their greenhouse gas output under the Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth from 2018 to 2020. Their total output last year was 450 million tonnes, a 9.3 per cent drop from 490 million tonnes produced in 2018.
This means the corporations would have to reduce some 180.88 million tonnes more by 2030 to be in line with the country’s recently revised emissions cut target of 40 per cent below 2018 levels by 2030, according to CEO Score.
The government announced last month its new nationally determined contribution, or NDC, to the global climate change action – a 40 per cent cut by 2030 and a full transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Looking into sectors, 13 out of 18 industries reduced emissions, among which six industries cut their emissions by more than 10 per cent.
The energy industry showed the highest reduction with a 36 per cent drop, followed by insurance, transportation, public enterprises and construction.
Power generation public corporations slashed greenhouse gases most deeply, with Korea South-East Power Co and Korea Southern Power Co cutting more than 10 million tonnes in 2020 compared to 2018.
Posco Energy was the only private company in the top five of the list.
Companies in the pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, services and manufacturing industries, on the other hand, released more greenhouse gases.
Companies like Hyundai Steel, Posco, Samsung Electronics, SK hynix and S-Oil emitted more greenhouse gases due to mergers and acquisitions, as well as the establishment of new facilities.
The 197 companies obligated to report their emissions are responsible for 68.5 per cent of the greenhouse gas output in the country.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK