South Korea’s climate envoy has promised that Seoul will take “bold” policy changes because one of Asia’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases is under pressure for failing to take stronger actions to combat climate change.
However, the Moon’s government’s claims aroused criticism from environmentalists, who said that South Korea failed to come up with a strong plan to cut coal and promote renewable energy in order to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement. The degree of need.
South Korea’s climate change ambassador, Yoo Yeon, said that Seoul’s bureaucrats are “doing all they can” to develop a “path” for this goal.
He told the British “Financial Times”: “We will eventually take bold measures.”
Jeehye Park, coal project director of “Our Climate Solutions”, a Seoul-based non-governmental organization, noted: The coal-fired power plant is still under construction In South Korea, this means that the use of fossil fuels may not be phased out until 2054.
Coal accounts for about 40% of South Korea’s electricity generation and a quarter of the country’s emissions.
According to data from the International Climate Analytics Agency (Climate Analytics), the elimination of coal-fired power generation by the end of the 1990s will not only enable an economy that relies on manufacturing to meet the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement, but also mean that air pollution-related diseases will suffer. The number of people who died prematurely fell by 18,000. research team.
Parker said: “Because the prospects for coal have been foreseen, and the advancement of physically harmful projects, it seems morally wrong to take away people’s health and life expectancy.”
South Korea will hold its first major multilateral climate conference this month, the P4G Summit. Before the event starts, Al GoreThe former vice president of the United States and chief of the climate movement wrote to Moon, urging him to act as soon as possible.
According to South Korea’s climate plan, which was updated in December last year, the country plans to reduce emissions by 24.4% from 2017 levels by 2030. At least 50% South Korea needs to align with the 1.5C global target in the Paris Agreement.
The countries that signed the Paris Agreement promised to limit global warming to a level “far below” 2C, hoping to maintain it at around 1.5C compared to the level of industrialization before the end of this century.
Gore warned: “The economic risks of inaction are also increasing,” he pointed out that emissions must be cut, “especially for trade-oriented economies such as South Korea that are facing the prospect of adjusting their carbon borders.”
Yoo, who has been involved in South Korea’s climate policy and negotiations since the early 1990s, acknowledged that Seoul’s three decades Environmental policy Eventually lead to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
He said that an improved climate plan is being developed and will be “probably” announced at COP26, Global Climate Conference It will be held in Glasgow in November.
Yoo insists that South Korea is committed to a “step-by-step” approach, deploying financial and technical assistance and capacity building to help companies in Asia’s fourth largest economy change For a cleaner economy.
He also pointed out the government’s Document the stimulus plan In response to the coronavirus pandemic, it includes funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and hydrogen technology, and Moon’s decision last month Ultimately state-owned bank funds Used in overseas coal projects.
According to data from the Federation of Scientists, which is jointly followed by US research institutions, South Korea was the world’s eighth largest carbon emitter last year, and ranked fourth in Asia after China, India and Japan.
“From now on, the story will be different,” Yoo said.
Where climate change meets business, markets, and politics. Browse the “Financial Times” report here