South Korea has become the first Asian nation to launch a national emissions trading scheme.
The ETS on the Korea Exchange saw starting prices of 7,860 won (US$7.26) a tonne, and climbing as much as 8,640 won.
South Korea has imposed a limit on total emissions under the programme at 1.7 billion tonnes by 2017. It covers more than 500 companies including some of the country’s biggest manufacturers, airlines and power producers, who in total account for 60% of the country’s emissions.
Under the scheme, each company gets a free greenhouse gas emissions allowance. The company has to buy extra permits to emit more than the free quota.
Dirk Forrister, president and chief executive of the International Emissions Trading Association said the ETS is “a significant milestone for Asia, marking the first national carbon market in the region.”
“It also adds to the momentum for establishing a solid foundation for market-based solutions in the international climate agreement set to be agreed at the end of this year,” he added.