South Korea’s climate ambassador has promised a “strong” change from Seoul as one of Asia’s leading greenhouse gases is forced to take action for failing to take decisive action in response to climate change.
But Moon observers’ comments have criticized environmentalists, who say South Korea has failed to provide a comprehensive plan to reduce coal and develop more efficient measures in line with the Paris climate agreement.
Yoo Yeon-chul, South Korea’s ambassador to climate change, said Seoul officials were “striving” to find “ways and means” to reach them.
“We will take action boldly in the end,” he told the Financial Times.
Jeehye Park, co-ordinator of the coal program at Solutions for Our Climate, a Seoul-based non-governmental organization, realized this coal-fired power plants were still being developed in South Korea, meaning that the use of old oil cannot be eliminated until 2054.
Coal accounts for about 40% of South Korea’s electricity, and a quarter of global gas emissions.
Deregulation of oil power over the rest of the decade could bring trade-based economies to the Paris climate agreement, meaning that fewer than 18,000 people will die prematurely from air pollution caused, according to Climate Analytics, a global research team.
“We have a hope for the future of the past, moving forward with destructive activities, eradicating human health and the life expectancy is far from ideal,” Park said.
South Korea will hold its first international conference on a monthly basis, the P4G conference. Prior to the ceremony, Al Gore, a former U.S. second and leading diplomat, wrote to Moon, urging him to act swiftly.
Under South Korea’s climate plan, which was last revised in December, the country is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 24.4% from 2017 to 2030. But Gore also cited research that shows the wounds of at least 50 percent required South Korea to adhere to the 1.5C global goal of the Paris agreement.
The countries that signed the Paris agreement have pledged to reduce global warming “to below” 2C, and hopefully around 1.5C, compared to those that had not been industrialized by the end of the century.
“The economic risk of unemployment is growing,” Gore warned, noting the need to reduce emissions “especially in a recession-ridden economy such as South Korea, which is expected to change its carbon footprint.”
Yoo, who has been involved in climate change in South Korea and negotiated since the early 1990s, admitted that Seoul’s 30-year rule environmental principles has caused a lot of greenhouse gases.
He also said a good climate plan is being developed and “probably” announced in COP26, the a global climate conference will take place in Glasgow in November.
Yoo insisted that South Korea was committed to “a slow path”, sending financial aid and expertise and developing skills to support the fourth largest Asian financial sector change to pure wealth.
He also mentioned the government drawing a motivating package in response to the coronavirus epidemic, which includes energy costs, renewable energy and hydrogen technologies, and Moon’s idea last month completion of state-owned bank funds foreign coal projects.
South Korea was the eighth largest gas emitter in the world last year, and Asia is the fourth largest after China, India and Japan, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a US-based group.
“From now on, this story will change,” Yoo said.
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