South Korea

South Korea Country Profile (World Bank)

Status under International Climate Change Law

  • UNFCCC: signature and acceptance (Dec 1993)
  • KP: signature and approval (8 Nov 2002)
    • Quantified emission limitation or reduction commitment: na
  • Vienna Convention: accession (27 Feb 1992)
  • Montreal Protocol: accession (27 Feb 1992)
  • LRTAP: N/A
  • Energy Charter conference: observer by invitation
  • Energy Efficiency Protocol: N/A
  • Espoo Convention: N/A
  • 2030 Commitment: 37% reduction below BAU by 2030.
    • INDC summary – includes LULUCF and gases covered (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions 2015)
    • INDC summary – includes adaptation and conditions for implementation (Climate Policy Observer 2016)

Laws on Climate Change

Constitutional Law

  • Environmental protection statute (Article 35) (1987) (Korean, English)


  • Framework Act on Low Carbon, Green Growth (2010) (Korean, English) to promote the development of the national economy by laying the foundation for low carbon, green growth and by utilizing green technology and green industries as new engines for growth
  • Act on the Allocation and Trading of Greenhouse gas Emission Permits (2012) (Korean, English) to achieve national targets for reducing greenhouse gas effectively by introducing a system for trading greenhouse-gas emission permits through market mechanisms

Air protection

  • Clean Air Conservation Act (1990) (Korean, English) to prevent air pollution


  • Energy Act (2006) (Korean, English) to contribute to the sustainable development of the national economy and enhancement of the welfare of citizens by providing for basic matters concerning the formulation and implementation of energy policies and energy-related plans to realize a stable, efficient and environment-friendly energy demand and supply structure
  • Act on the Promotion of the Development, Use and Diffusion of New and Renewable Energy (2011 (Korean, English)  to contribute to the preservation of the environment, the sound and sustainable development of the national economy, and the promotion of national welfare by diversifying energy sources

Forests and Land Use

Act on Special Cases Concerning The Acquisition of Lands for Public Use and the Compensation for Their Loss(2002) (English)

Public Land Reservation Act (2009) (English)

Act on the Management and Improvement of Carbon Sink (2013) (Korean, English)

Framework Act on Forestry (2001) (Korean, English)

Forest Protection Act (2009) (Korean, English)


  • Framework Act on Environmental Policy 1990 (Korean, English) to get all the people to enjoy healthy and pleasant lives by preventing the environmental pollution and environmental damages and by managing and preserving environment in a proper and sustainable manner
  • Sustainable Development Act 2007 (Korean, English) to ensure that present and future generations enjoy a better quality of life, by accomplishing sustainable development and participating in international efforts to implement sustainable development

National Plans, Programs and Initiatives

Government Documents

Additional Resources

Summaries of legislation compiled from Terry Townsend et al., The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study (3d ed. 2013).

Updated as of: April 9, 2014