Despite Seoul’s eagerness to go green, South Koreans consume twice more energy than G20 members and yet are slow in meeting greenhouse commitments.
According to the Brown to Green Report 2018 recently released by Climate Transparency, South Korea’s nationally determined contribution (NDC) target to mitigate GHG level is “highly insufficient”, adding that its weak mitigation commitment would allow “domestic emissions in 2030 to more than double” compared to the levels in 1990. The Brown to Green Report is the world’s most comprehensive review of G20 climate action.
The report said South Korea’s per capita GHG emissions stands at 13.3 tCO2e, 1.7 times higher than the G20 average of 8. The country’s emissions increased by 137 percent from 1990 to 2015 and are expected to grow significantly towards 2030, the report predicted. The largest contributor is emissions from energy, which increased by 6 percent between 2012 and 2017. Electricity, heat generation and industries make up the largest share of 76 percent in total CO2 emissions in 2017.
Per capital energy use in South Korea is 2.4 times higher than the G20 average, the report said, with the figure more than doubling from 1990 to 2017. “South Korea would need more stringent policies to be able to peak and start declining emissions to meet the NDC target,” it added.
By Won Ho-sup and Choi Mira
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