South Korea offered to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2030, officials said Tuesday, an ambitious commitment ahead of a crucial global climate conference.
The contribution means that South Korea's overall emissions will stand at 535 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents by 2030.
That represents a 37 percent cut from 850.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, an amount Seoul says it could reach without any measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or if it let business run as usual.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said South Korea set a higher target than previously proposed to use reductions as an opportunity to create a new energy market. He also said South Korea has played a leading role in fighting climate change.
He made the comments after the Cabinet approved the country's commitment in the central city of Sejong.
South Korea plans to submit its contribution to the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat in the German city of Bonn via email later in the day, according to officials.
South Korea's contribution calls for reductions of 25.7 percent from the country's business-as-usual level by 2030 and the other 11.3 percent cut comes in the form of purchase of carbon credits to offset emissions.
South Korea said it is pushing to develop technology to reduce greenhouse gases while considering building more nuclear power plants.
The announcement came more than two weeks after U.S. President Barack Obama asked President Park Geun-hye to set an ambitious goal in cutting greenhouse gases, citing efforts for the success of the U.N. Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in late November.
The conference is meant to produce a legally binding deal to cut the heat-trapping gases that scientists have said are to blame for global warming. (Yonhap)