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 Petroleum Association (KPA) displays limited but highly negative engagement with climate policy in South Korea. KPA has negative top-line messaging on the need for drastic climate action, and its detailed policy engagement has mostly focused on the transition of the energy mix and South Korea’s GHG emission reduction targets.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: KPA does not appear to support drastic GHG emissions reductions in line with IPCC recommendations. In its September 2021 consultation response to the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Scenario, KPA did not support South Korea’s 2050 carbon neutrality target, advocating to “adjust the speed of the carbon-neutral pathway” and suggesting that fast reductions could “threaten industrial competitiveness and energy security”. On its website, KPA appeared to not fully support the climate science of the IPCC, stating that “there has been a lot of debate about the connection with carbon dioxide as a cause of climate change” while also acknowledging that “mass emissions of carbon dioxide will negatively affect the environment in one way or another”. As reported by the Seoul Economic Daily in October 2021, KPA did not fully support the need for climate change regulation, advocating for “greenhouse gas reduction policies that provide incentives rather than regulations.”
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: KPA appears to have limited engagement with climate policies in South Korea, but has not supported increased ambition for the country’s 2030 NDC GHG emissions reduction target. In its September 2021 response to the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Scenario, KPA did not support increased ambition for the 2030 NDC target. In October 2021, Yonhap News reported that Cho Jun-sang, the Head of Industrial Strategy at KPA, stated that “excessive reduction targets” could lead to “downsizing of the entire domestic industry.”
Positioning on Energy Transition: KPA takes a broadly negative position on the transition of the energy mix away from fossil fuels. In its response to the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Scenario in September 2021, KPA opposed a reduction of oil in the energy mix, citing “a possibility of maintaining the demand for petroleum products in export regions in the mid- to long-term.” In the same consultation response, KPA opposed the plan to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and appeared to not support increased electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, citing “excessive” investment costs. In a March 2022 ‘Q&A’ publication on its website, KPA appeared to support maintaining significant levels of oil in the energy mix, arguing that “oil demand is expected to remain strong in the pursuit of carbon neutrality.”