We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Policy Engagement Overview: The Korea Business Council for Sustainable Development (KBCSD) appears to have limited and mixed engagement with climate policy in South Korea. The association has taken supportive positions on the need for climate action in its top-line messaging. However, it has negatively engaged with the introduction of a carbon tax in South Korea. It has taken mixed positive and negative positions on the transition of the energy mix.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: KBCSD appears to take supportive positions on the need for climate action in its top-line messaging, but often does not specify a time-frame for emissions reductions in line with IPCC timelines. At a policy meeting with the Ministry of Environment in February 2023, the Chairman of KBCSD, Lee Kyung-ho, supported the need for South Korean government policy to help businesses achieve carbon neutrality, but did not place the need for GHG emissions reductions within a clearly defined time-frame. In a February 2023 CEO Sustainable Business Strategy Report, KBCSD appeared to support the regulated carbon market in South Korea but alongside the implementation of a voluntary carbon markets (VCM) as well. At a policy meeting with the Ministry of Environment in February 2022, the Vice President of KBCSD supported action towards carbon neutrality, stating that the council would “actively participate in the government’s carbon neutrality initiative”.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: KBCSD appears to have a limited level of engagement with some climate policies in South Korea, including the 2030 NDC GHG emissions reduction target of the South Korean government, carbon tax and the Korea Emissions Trading Scheme (K-ETS).
In a July 2022 interview with Fortune Korea, the Chairman of KBCSD, Lee Kyung-ho, stated that it would be “not easy to achieve the government’s GHG reduction target” for South Korean manufacturing and energy-intensive industries.
In the KBCSD CEO Report in September 2021, the association appeared to oppose introducing carbon tax in Korea, stating that the policy should not be a “punitive tax” and could be a double-regulatory “burden” to Korean industries. In the association’s CEO Report in June 2020, KBCSD appeared to oppose the K-ETS, suggesting suspending the policy and easing the cost burden. In the May 2020 CEO Report, the association supported expanding government policy that would support renewable energy expansion.
Positioning on Energy Transition: KBCSD appears to take mixed positive and negative positions on the transition of the energy mix. In the association’s CEO Report in October 2022, KBCSD supported the use of enhanced nuclear technology, such as small modular reactors (SMRs), but without disclosing its position on the energy mix transition in general. In the August 2022 CEO report, KBCSD supported a transition to a low-carbon economy, stating support for using Carbon-Free Energy 100 (CF100), which includes not only renewable energy but also nuclear and green hydrogen, for power generation in South Korea as a complementary measure to RE100. In the CEO Report in June 2022, KBCSD supported a transition to a low-carbon economy, stating support for the South Korean government’s in expanded incentives and measures for green industries.