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Korean firms unprepared for Kyoto

SEOUL - Almost 60 percent of South Korean companies are not making any preparations for the implementation of international environment directives, such as the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a survey revealed on Tuesday.

The poll of 948 local firms conducted by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET) showed that when asked about their plans to cope with the directives, 40.6 percent of the respondents said they were "preparing for them," while 59.4 percent said they were not.

By size of firm, 73.5 percent of large corporations said they are actively preparing for the implementation of the regulations, with only 29.3 percent of small and mid-sized firms returning the same answer.

Asked on their awareness of the Kyoto Protocol, 27.3 percent of the respondents answered they were "well informed," 52.7 percent said "slightly aware," while 19.5 percent of them admitted they had almost no idea about the protocol.

Nearly 40 percent of large companies were familiar with the protocol while a mere 16.2 percent of small and medium-sized firms offered the same response.

More than 50 percent of the companies said they believed the protocol on climate change will generally have a major impact on their businesses, 33 percent said they did not believe it would have a significant impact, while 7.3 percent said they had no idea as to what effect the protocol would have on their operations.

The survey also showed the Korean firms polled were not spending money to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Roughly 16 percent spent more than 5 percent of their total facility investments on lowering carbon emissions, while 23.9 percent spent below 1 percent of total investments for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, according to the Kyoto Protocol, 38 advanced countries, including South Korea, should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent from their 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 period.

However, the countries will be allowed to "buy and sell" carbon emission rights from other countries under the protocol.

(Asia Pulse/Yonhap)
Sep 17, 2003


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