South Korea President Moon Jae-in announced a new climate goal for the country, targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. The announcement comes days a similar pledge made by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
In a speech to South Korea’s National Assembly, Moon outlined aspects of the “Green New Deal,” which includes investments of eight trillion won by the country. The investments will be focused on job creation and economic recovery as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Key investment areas will include the replacement of South Korea’s coal power generation with renewable energy sources, replacing and remodelling old buildings with greener facilities, and significantly increasing the use of electric vehicles and hydrogen powered cars in the country. Ultimately, the plan envisions South Korea building a low carbon industrial base.
Moving to a renewable energy base will be a major undertaking for South Korea. The country is one of the top ten carbon emitters in the world, responsible for over 1.8% of global emissions in 2017. Over 40% of the country’s electricity is sourced from coal.
President Moon said:
“We will go toward carbon neutral by 2050, taking action on climate change. We will replace coal power with renewable energy, creating new markets and industries as well as jobs.”