LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - South Korean lawmakers approved a national emissions trading scheme on Wednesday to tackle the country’s growing greenhouse gas pollution, overcoming strong industry opposition and joining a growing number of nations to put a price on carbon.
The scheme puts a cap on emissions from top polluting firms right across the economy, encouraging them to become more energy efficient. To meet the mandatory cap, firms usually trade emissions permits or buy carbon offsets from overseas to manage their carbon liabilities.
Out of 151 lawmakers who voted, 148 approved it, underscoring bipartisan support for a scheme that has been deeply divisive in other major industrial nations, particularly the United States and Australia.
The programme, due to start Jan 2015, opens the possibility of international linkages with other schemes as part of global efforts to curb the growth of carbon pollution that scientists blame for heating up the planet and triggering more chaotic weather.
Reporting by Meeyoung Cho and Eunhye Shin; editing by David Fogarty and Keiron Henderson