South Korea

Critically Insufficient4°C+
World
NDCs with this rating fall well outside of a country’s “fair share” range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would exceed 4°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming of greater than 4°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
Highly insufficient< 4°C
World
NDCs with this rating fall outside of a country’s “fair share” range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would reach between 3°C and 4°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
Insufficient< 3°C
World
NDCs with this rating are in the least stringent part of a country’s “fair share” range and not consistent with holding warming below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with warming over 2°C and up to 3°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
2°C Compatible< 2°C
World
NDCs with this rating are consistent with the 2009 Copenhagen 2°C goal and therefore fall within a country’s “fair share” range, but are not fully consistent with the Paris Agreement long term temperature goal. If all government NDCs were in this range, warming could be held below, but not well below, 2°C and still be too high to be consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with holding warming below, but not well below, 2°C if all other sectors were to follow the same approach.
1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s NDCs in the most stringent part of its “fair share” range: it is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. For sectors, the rating indicates that the target is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
Role model<< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s NDC is more ambitious than what is considered a “fair” contribution: it is more than consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. No “role model” rating has been developed for the sectors.

Historical data

Historical emissions in South Korea were taken from the national inventories submitted to UNFCCC (2017). The 2030 NDC target was calculated based on the accompanying BAU scenario (Republic of Korea, 2015). The target is calculated excluding LULUCF emissions.

Pledges

BAU projections for the 2020 pledge were taken from the Third National Communication (Republic of Korea, 2012) whilst the BAU for NDC is taken directly from the NDC pledge. We no longer consider the 2020 pledge when calculating the global temperature rise associated with the aggregated pledges of all countries.

Current policy projections

Current trend projections are based on the BAU scenario from the 6th Edition of APEC Energy Demand and Supply Outlook (APERC, 2016) and the US EPA non-CO2 emission projections until 2030 (USEPA, 2012). Non-energy related CO2 emissions are assumed to remain constant at the 2014 level. For the upper end of the range we use the APERC BAU scenario directly. This scenario reaches 3.7% of renewable power generation in 2024, growing further to 4.7% in 2030. For the lower end of the range we adjusted the scenario based on the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), assuming 10% of renewable power generation is achieved by 2024 and sustained up to 2030.

To estimate the impact of the new “Plan for Electricity Supply and Demand”, the announced shares of generation per technology were firstly scaled up to cover the 1.2% of generation that was not allocated to a particular generating technology. These shares were then multiplied by the total generation under a BAU scenario in 2030 (APERC, 2016) decreased to 579.5 TWh to take into account the expected decrease in electricity demand (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, 2017b). The generation per technology was multiplied by emission factors for each fossil fuel generating technology in 2014 (IEA, 2017) (emission factors in 2030 used in the APERC BAU scenario are unavailable) to obtain a first estimate of electricity-related emissions under the announced generation mix.

The first-estimate emissions level was then compared to calculated emission levels resulting from the two power-sector scenarios described above (APERC BAU and 10% renewable power scenarios). The electricity-related emission levels in these scenarios were re-evaluated with the emission factors from 2014 from the IEA (2017) (these appear to be slightly higher than the emission factors in 2030 used in APERC (2016)) to obtain an updated baseline level from which the relative impact of the announced generation mix was compared. This relative impact was then converted into a final estimate of the electricity-related emissions under the announced generation mix by multiplying this relative impact by the absolute emission levels under the APERC BAU and 10% renewable power scenarios.

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