Korea plans to receive 100 million tons of carbon emission credits over the next decade in return for planting trees on a 200,000-hectare plot of land in Indonesia. That amount of credits would normally cost W2.2 trillion (US$1=W1,116), or $20 per ton, but Korea will save more than W1 trillion through the tree-planting deal.
Park Jong-ho, an official at the Korea Forest Service, said, "Our government signed an MOU with the Indonesian government on Jan. 26 aimed at preventing deforestation."
This relates to a United Nations-led initiative called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in Developing Countries. Under the MOU, Korea will first plant tress in a 14,000-hectare area of rainforest in Indonesia's Sumatra region at a cost of $10 million.
"This is a pilot project, but we plan to expand the area of coverage to 200,000 hectares by 2020 and earn 100 million tons of carbon emission credits," Park added.
Korea is not bound by any agreements or laws to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, but plans to voluntarily reduce carbon emission levels by 30 percent by 2020.