Turf war slowing president’s green growth blueprintThe Lee Myung-bak administration has used “green growth,” or economic development using environmentally friendly measures, as its operative phrase. But its legal foundation for green growth strategies has been met with opposition from a presidential body. The Regulatory Reform Committee, which reviews law enforcement measures, yesterday ordered changes in the enforcement ordinance for the Framework Act on Low Carbon Green Growth. It was scheduled to go into effect on April 14.
After a meeting, the committee concluded that under the act, companies related to green growth could face “a double whammy” of restrictions from both the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Environment. “The enforcement ordinance should contain new paradigms, but it’s full of archaic restrictions,” said Choi Byung-seon, head of the committee. “Some of our members said they would step down if the act passed the way it was written.”
The Presidential Committee on Green Growth last month drafted the enforcement ordinance following consultations with the knowledge economy and the environment ministries. But following the regulatory committee’s call yesterday, the government went back to the drawing board.
“We’re trying to take into account the committee’s concerns and make necessary changes,” a government official said.
An enforcement ordinance must pass the regulatory committee and then also a review by the Ministry of Government Legislation, a meeting of vice cabinet ministers and the cabinet. The process usually takes at least two weeks.
“We have 45 days [under the law] to review an ordinance and we will take thorough steps until the concerns are resolved,” said Choi. The committee singled out the restriction on greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. Under the ordinance, companies with an excessive amount of emissions and consumption would have to submit their plans to reduce them to both the knowledge economy and the environment ministries, and the two ministries would conduct separate evaluations. “Even though this is a matter of great interest to President Lee, ministries failed to cooperate with each other and companies would come under restrictions of both ministries,” a committee official said. “We can’t promote green growth under this sort of system.”
The two ministries have long battled for control in leading the green growth movement. A committee member pointed out that “many of us felt that the two ministries were basically fighting to get a bigger slice of pie.”
By Kang Joo-an [firstname.lastname@example.org]