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Is Korea Serious About Fighting Climate Change?

September 3, 2023

At various global summits and venues, leaders of many nations, including Korea, have firmly stated their pledges to take all needed action to cut global emissions leading to climate change. Like many developed nations, Korea has committed to achieving carbon neutrality, in its case, by 2050. The Yoon Suk Yeol administration also recently tightened reduction targets and aims to use less carbon-intensive energy sources to reduce emissions by 45.9 percent from 2018 levels by 2030.

This sounds good, but as Rob Atkinson writes in The Korea Times setting targets is not the same as meeting them. When it comes to the most important step Korea can take to address global climate change―boosting clean energy R&D―Korea, like most developed nations, is lagging. Without much better and cheaper clean energy technologies the world will not get to net zero for the simple reason that voters will tell their leaders they are not willing to pay more. This is especially true in the fastest-growing developing economies where paying more for energy is not popular.

Read the column.

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