SEOUL, Oct. 28 — The increase of South Korea's greenhouse gas emissions slowed sharply in 2008 amid efforts to voluntarily cut its emissions by 30 percent from its estimated, or business-as-usual level, in 2020, a government report said Thursday.
In 2008, the country's energy and industrial sectors produced some 5.86 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, or tCO2e, up 1.6 percent from 5.77 million tCO2e the year before, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy.
The energy and industrial sectors account for about 95 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. The measurement, tCO2e, is designed to gauge the effect of different types of greenhouse gases on global warming, using carbon dioxide as the reference.
"It is a significant slowdown, compared to the average annual increase of 4.5 percent since 1990," the ministry said in a press release. "Such a slowdown was apparently caused by a decrease of energy use due to high oil prices at the time and the slow economic growth in the year."
Emissions by the steel industry, however, increased 8.7 percent on-year in 2008 as its use of coal increased 11.3 percent from the previous year, the ministry said.
Emissions from the transportation sector, including those generated from daily use of personal passenger vehicles, dropped 4.2 percent in 2008, though the number of registered vehicles increased 2.2 percent from 16.43 million in 2007 to 16.79 million.
The ministry said this was largely because of reduced operation of vehicles due to high oil prices. (PNA/Yonhap)