South Korean lawmakers have passed a bill mandating the country’s airlines to report their annual carbon emissions, as part of efforts to comply with global standards, and to “systematically” manage CO2 output. 

The bill, passed on 1 February, covers all operators which own at least one aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 5.7t or above, or operators whose carbon emissions exceed 10,000t per year, states the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT)

Korean Air aircraft at Seoul Incheon airport June 2021

Source: Photo Atrium/Shutterstock

New emissions legislation is expected to come into effect after cabinet approval in August

Under the ‘International Aviation Carbon Act’, airlines will submit their annual carbon emissions to the ministry, which will then calculate the amount of carbon offsets which the carrier will have to purchase. 

MOLIT adds that the legislation will help compliance with ICAO’s market-based CORSIA carbon-offset and reduction scheme. 

The bill will also see penalties meted out on airlines who fail to maintain or cut back on their emissions, as well as to those found to have falsified emissions data. 

“By establishing a legal foundation for systematically offsetting and reducing… carbon emissions through the enactment of the International Aviation Carbon Act, we will be able to actively respond to international environmental regulations and promote policies for [net-zero emissions in 2050],” the ministry states. 

The bill will affect eight of the country’s airlines: Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jin Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan, Air Seoul, T’way Air, and Air Incheon. 

The bill is expected to come into effect after cabinet approval some time in August, MOLIT states.