South Korean lawmakers passed legislation to create a cap-and-trade program in 2015, and voted to begin capping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its largest companies this year, reports Bloomberg.
A special committee of the National Assembly voted in favor of the legislation against industry opposition.
The bill now goes through its final steps - through the Legislation and Judiciary Committee, and then to the assembly's plenary session on Feb. 16.
It would be the third cap-and-trade program in the Asia-Pacific region, following Australia and New Zealand.
South Korea is the eighth-largest carbon emitter in the world, according to the International Energy Agency, and has a target of cutting emissions 30% by 2020.
Starting this year, about 500 of the country's biggest polluters would face GHG caps in preparation for the 2015 cap-and-trade launch.