Korean Co2 Legislation – European Commission statement
On Monday 24 January, the Korean Ministry of Environment made a public announcement of a number of adjustments that will be introduced in a new regulation on car CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency.
These follow consultations launched by the Korean Government on a draft regulation published on 29th September 2010.
The Commission is supportive of the Korean draft regulation as it will contribute to world-wide efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions. It also welcomes these adjustments, as they aim at achieving a fair distribution of the efforts by domestic and foreign car makers to reduce emissions. These changes include an adjustment of the formula applied to determine the CO2 reductions, as well derogations for car makers selling a small number of cars in Korea, and credits given for the use of innovative technologies reducing emissions or improving fuel efficiency. The amended Korea regulation will, whilst retaining its ambitious emission reduction objectives, address satisfactorily a number of concerns expressed by European car makers on the draft regulation.
The European Commission appreciates the constructive attitude adopted by the Korean Government on this issue, which corresponds to the cooperative approach with which potential market access obstacles or regulatory issues will be addressed in bilateral trade relations under the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
Basically, the Commission says we support the Korean environmental goals, and appreciate the flexibility shown by Korea in taking into account the concerns of European car-makers who sell only a few cars in the Korean market and in making adjustments to the regulation accordingly.
Is this a good way to deal with domestic environmental regulation and its impact on foreign companies? With the caveat that there are a lot technical details not explained here, does it seem like the right balance has been struck? It is quite possible that in their initial form, domestic environmental regulations will discriminate against (or excessively burden) foreign producers. As a result, lobbying of this sort by the foreign interests for better treatment may be necessary.