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  • Author: Dong-Hyeok Kwon, Alistair Ritchie
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: Emissions trading systems (ETS) are increasingly being introduced as a way of cost-effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet ambitious national climate change targets, including Nationally Determined Contributions and net-zero long-term goals under the Paris Agreement. A key concern for governments and industry, however, is how to protect industry’s global competitiveness and prevent “carbon leakage”, that is, the transfer of production to world regions with less ambitious climate policies that would lead to an increase in total emissions. To address this concern, ETS allowances are typically allocated for free to greenhouse gas (GHG)-intensive or trade-intensive industries at risk of carbon leakage. The type of free allocation design is important because it directly impacts on the financial performance of companies. It also determines how companies are rewarded. Those that have invested more in GHG reduction technologies will be rewarded better under a benchmark (BM)-based allocation approach, where allocation is based on the level of production multiplied by an emissions intensity benchmark. Those that have invested less in such technologies will be rewarded better under a grandfathered approach, where allocation is based on historic emissions. However, while BM-based allocation is generally regarded as a fairer method, it is also considered more difficult to design and implement. This Asia Society Policy Institute issue paper, Developing Effective Benchmark-Based Allocation for Industrial Sectors: The Case of the Korean ETS, shows how BM-based allocation has been successfully implemented for some of Korea’s most important industrial sectors, steel and petrochemicals. It provides valuable insights and recommendations for other countries to develop an effective allocation system in a timely and efficient way.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Trade, Carbon Emissions, Paris Agreement
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, Korea
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Peter Grey, Kim Jong-Hoon, Mari Pangestu, Yoichi Sozuki, Tu Xinquan
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: The U.S.-China trade dispute has dominated headlines over the past year, disrupting trade and investment flows and increasing uncertainty at a time when the global economy is already facing headwinds. The conflict has left many countries in the Asia Pacific feeling caught in the crossfire seeking to navigate the tensions without alienating either country. While the World Trade Organization (WTO) would ideally help reduce the frictions, it has not been up to the task. The paralysis at the WTO points to a deeper problem: it’s inability to keep up with the pace of change or address the challenges of new developments in advanced technologies and the digital economy. Simply put, the trade regime is in trouble and in need of reform. At this dynamic and uncertain time in trade, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) convened a group of leading trade experts and former trade officials from across the Asia Pacific, led by ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler. In this issue paper, the authors examine the major developments in the international trading system, including the U.S.-China trade dispute, FTA activity in the Asia Pacific, and efforts to reform the WTO. In this challenging environment, the authors find that the Asia Pacific is uniquely well-positioned to lead reforms to get the system back on track. This paper is the latest product of the ASPI initiative, “Building a High Standard and Inclusive Asia-Pacific Trade Architecture.” It builds on the work of two previous reports published in March 2017 and January 2018.
  • Topic: Economy, Trade Wars, Trade, WTO
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Wendy Cutler, Hyemin Lee
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: For nearly 70 years, the United States-Republic of Korea alliance has remained strong, built mainly on shared strategic and national security interests. While the North Korean nuclear threat has long dominated political discussions and media headlines, the economic pillar of the relationship is no less important. With amendments to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) now in place, it is an opportune time for both countries to look beyond KORUS and expand their bilateral economic engagement to new and evolving areas. This closer cooperation can serve as an engine for growth in a slowing Korean economy, as an opportunity for job creation in the United States, and as a vehicle for jointly writing the rules for the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As policymakers in Washington and Seoul look to the future, the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) charts a possible path forward in its newest issue paper, Advancing the U.S.-Korea Economic Agenda. This paper presents a range of concrete actions that the United States and South Korea can take to advance and strengthen their bilateral economic relationship in the areas of trade and investment, energy, digital economy and advanced technologies, infrastructure, and women’s economic empowerment. The recommendations included in this paper are based partly on two roundtables ASPI organized with South Korean and American experts in Seoul in June 2018, with support from the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and in Washington, D.C., in October 2018. The ideas are also based on discussions with government officials, business leaders, and think tank experts.
  • Topic: National Security, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Alliance, Trade
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North America, United States of America