Korea ‘must accelerate green growth reforms’

Korea needs to accelerate its green growth reforms to temper the negative legacy of a decade of growth. That’s according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Korea needs to accelerate its green growth reforms to temper the negative legacy of a decade of growth.

That’s according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which says the nation needs to slash its high levels of energy use, resource consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

With an energy mix dominated by fossil fuels, Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 39% between 2000 to 2013, the second highest increase of all OECD countries over the period.

The report recommends increasing political commitment to green growth, revising energy plans to ensure consistency with climate change commitments and raising electricity prices to reflect the costs of their provision.

It also suggests increasing fossil fuel taxes and removing their subsidies, whilst stepping up efforts to support renewables and tackle air pollution.

OECD Environment Director Simon Upton said: “Korea has been a champion in framing ambitious green growth policies. It now needs to turn its vision into action by making progress towards its climate goals.

“As a technology leader, Korea is well placed to profit from the transition to a low carbon economy. But that will only happen if it implements low carbon reforms that reward clean-tech innovation and penalise polluters.”

A new professional training programme on the transparency of climate action and support has been launched by Korea and the UN.