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.

Fair share

We rate South Korea’s 2030 target “Highly insufficient.” The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that South Korea’s climate commitment in 2030 is not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and is instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow South Korea’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means South Korea’s climate commitment is not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

The CAT ratings are based on climate commitments in (I)NDCs. In particular, the CAT rates the overall (I)NDC target, which could be met through a combination of domestic emission reductions and the purchase of credits through international market mechanisms. South Korea’s NDC indicates that it intends to meet its target in such a manner.

If the CAT were to rate South Korea’s projected emissions levels in 2030 under current policies—which does not include the new administration’s proposed changes to the electricity generation mix—we would rate South Korea “Critically insufficient,” indicating that South Korea’s current policies in 2030 are consistent with a warming of over 4°C: if all countries were to follow South Korea’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C. This means South Korea’s current policies are not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories are available on the CAT website.

Latest publications

Stay informed

Subscribe to our newsletter