After China and Japan, under international pressure, South Korea has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero. “As part of efforts to actively respond to climate change, we will strive to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050”President Moon Jae-in said Wednesday, October 28, in a speech to the National Assembly. Beijing and Tokyo have made similar commitments for 2060 and 2050 respectively.
“The world’s eleventh economy, also the world’s sixth largest exporter, joins a growing group of major economies determined to lead by example in building a world that is sustainable, carbon neutral and resilient to climate change by 2050”, responded UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres.
To achieve its new target, South Korea must reduce its emissions by 10% per year over the next three decades, the environment ministry has calculated. “The goal of carbon neutrality remains unattainable without fundamental changes in energy policy”, adds Joojin Kim, of Solutions for Our Climate, who also calls for ambitious goals for 2030.
Speed up certain projects
A challenge for a country considered, on the international scene, as a “climate traitor” for its reluctance to initiate daring environmental policies. South Korea emitted 658.79 million tonnes of CO equivalent2 GHG emissions in 2018. It still depends heavily on coal, which generated 41.9% of its electricity in 2018 and which, according to the energy policy unveiled in May, must still produce 30% in the long term.
Aware of these limits, Mr. Moon wants to accelerate certain projects already mentioned. He thus pledged 8 trillion won (6 billion euros) to begin, in 2021, the transition from coal to renewables, which produce barely 6% of national electricity, the lowest proportion of countries in the world. the OECD. The funds should also be used to increase the number of recharging stations for electric vehicles and to increase the number of electric and hydrogen cars.
These financings previously appeared in the Green New Deal finalized in July. With 73.4 trillion won (55.5 billion euros), this ambitious project for the post-Covid-19 era did not set a date for carbon neutrality. He emphasized the opportunities for growth and job creation offered by the transition from a carbon economy to a low-emission economy.
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