In December 1993, Korea joined the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) to corporate the international efforts for tackling global warming and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in November 2002. Korea has been classified as one of Parties not included in Annex I and has no obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emission during the first commitment period; However, after the first commitment period, the international demand for Korean's participation to the international efforts by legally binding targets to tackle global warming would be even stronger since the total carbon dioxide (CO₂)- one of the main greenhouse gas - emission levels have reached the 9th place in the world (no. 1 within OECD members).
In this regard, under the recognition of energy saving and greenhouse gas emission reduction are both feasible to the national economy's long-term development goals, the Korean government has established the three-phase comprehensive counterplans to cope with the UNFCCC since 1999. Starting from 2005, the government has executed the third comprehensive plan.
The First UNFCCC Comprehensive Counterplan (1999~2001)
- The first-ever government's nationwide level comprehensive counterplan implementing infra-facilities projects requiring long-term investment such as technology development and greenhouse gas statistics, etc
- 36 tasks were set up such as sectional emission reduction plan, greenhouse gas emission reduction base strengthening, technology development, the Kyoto mechanism adoption, etc
The Second UNFCCC Comprehensive Counterplan (2002~2004)
- In 2001, based on the Prime Minister's Directive No.422, the UNFCCC Counterplan Committee was established composing of all the ministers from the relevant ministries and launched and implemented the second comprehensive counterplan
- 84 tasks with 5 sections were set up for addressing strengthening negotiation ability, developing greenhouse gas emission reducing technology, reinforcing greenhouse gas emission reducing counterplan, setting up the Kyoto Protocol and statistics infrastructure, and encouraging the public participation and corporation, etc.
Third UNFCCC Comprehensive Counterplan (2005~2007)
- Established the third counterplan covering a four-month period from Oct. 2004, having 3 sections with 90 tasks after considerations with 19 ministries such as Ministry of foreign affairs and Trade, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Environment and the relevant organizations such as Korea Energy Management Corporation and Environmental Management Corporation
- Composing 3 sections for the Convention execution infra-facilities building projects, sectional greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, climate change adaptation projects
- Compared to the former ones, reflecting 'adaptation' related programs