Source: www.asiaecon.org |
SOUTH KOREA'S GREEN DEAL
In an effort to overcome climate change, economic slowdowns and energy shortages currently plaguing the world today, South Korea has launched a “New Green Deal”, which will aim to revitalizing its economy through the development of environmentally friendly projects. The new deal will also aim to optimize South Korea's resources, attract foreign investment, and encourage international collaboration.
In an effort to overcome climate change, economic slowdowns and energy shortages currently plaguing the world today, South Korea has launched a “New Green Deal”, which will aim to revitalizing its economy through the development of environmentally friendly projects. The new deal will also aim to optimize South Korea’s resources, attract foreign investment, and encourage international collaboration.
The “New Green Deal”, announced on Jan. 6, is expected to stimulate the country’s sagging economy through infrastructure projects, creation of jobs, and international collaboration, while also addressing “both the mid and long-term challenges of global warming and the economic downturn,” according to the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affair’s Kim Hee-Kuk.
The deal will be worth around $38 billion in total and will include: support for “green homes”, expanding the use of renewable energy and technology, developing transportation infrastructure for rail and bicycles, and river recovery projects.
The core of the new deal lies on the development of a river restoration project in an effort to improve water quality and promote tourism. In the last decade, South Korea invested $5.7 billion in river restorations. Under the “New Green Deal”, the government plans to invest over 14 trillion wons ($9 billion) in further river reconstruction, development of riverside areas, and river related tourism by 2011, creating a total of 190,000 new jobs in the process.
Development of the country’s rivers will also prevent flood damage, which has cost South Korea an average of 2.7 trillion won and 4.2 trillion won on reparation costs. Water shortage problems will also be addressed as it is expected to reach 800 million cubic meters by 2011, according to the UN.
Moreover, investments in the construction of dams and reservoirs are also expected by 2012. If the country successfully improves its agricultural reservoirs, it is estimated that 220 million cubic meters of water could be secured annually, significantly improving South Korea’s water shortage issues.
The project will be executed in agreement with low-carbon green industries. Small hydro-power plants along with Photovoltaic power plants are expected to generate 114GW of electricity near the four rivers. The production of renewable energy facilitated by the project will help to reduce around 100,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.
The focus on the environment will also allow South Korea to attract investment from green businesses abroad. South Korean companies are already in talks with major green businesses in North America including GE Wind, Ballard, the leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, and Hemlock Semiconductor, the world’s largest polysilicone manufacturer.
Australia’s Macquarie Group has agreed to set up a fund of $1 billion with South Korea’s Woori Bank directed at the development of South Korea’s green infrastructure and alternative energy sources. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in the areas of science, agriculture and green growth with South Korea.
Additionally, South Korea has encouraged international collaboration in an effort to tackle global economic problems and climate change through Eco-friendly development. In a visit to Australia this week, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak proposed that “South Korea and Australia could jointly advance into green industry projects in third countries and create a green growth belt in Asia-Pacific,” as both countries are “in a unique position to bridge the gap between developing and developed countries on climate change”.
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Source: www.asiaecon.org |