Energy and Climate Policy Institute

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Enerzine No 17. Seoul takes action for escape from nuclear disaster
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   Enerzine No 17. Seoul takes action for escape from nuclear disaster.pdf (147.9K) [7] DATE : 2012-02-08 15:29:40
1. Issues
Seoul takes action for escape from nuclear disaster The strong impact of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan forced Seoul, Korea to take an action and escape nuclear hazards. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, who won a landslide vote against the ruling party last year, announced a new policy on the reduction of energy consumption. An expansion of renewable energy in the city was also made public recently as it coincides with Seoul‟s mid-term plan until 2014. The goal of this policy is to reduce energy or replace as a renewable energy source as much as Go-ri Unit 1, which has extended the life of old nuclear power plant. The Seoul metropolitan has almost no power generation in its administrative districts; however, it consumes the same amount of generation for nine nuclear power units. Moreover, the amount of electricity usage in Seoul has rapidly increased. This situation has been used as a good excuse for expanding the nuclear power plant in Korea. However, the new mayor established innovative energy policy and announced to change this situation. As a former civic activist and human rights lawyer, Mayor Park Won-soon keeps close cooperative relationships with the civil society. The antinuclear movement in Korea sends supports on this Seoul policy to escape from nuclear hazards. Several heads of the local governments prepare the announcement for escape from nuclear disasters followed by Seoul‟s action. There is much attention given to this matter because it is a very important challenge among local governments that disagree with the nuclear expansion policy of the central government.

Written by Jae-kak, Han (Deputy Director: )

2. Opinions
Let’s come out from their fortress Capitalism is sick. It is not just a light disease. It is a developed yet, disabling serious illness. Only 1% of the “greedy mouth” brings this situation. The other 99% is very embarrassed with their dying body without even knowing the reason. The World Social Forum (WSF) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) held recently are very busy to find alternatives of the dying capitalism. Although there are different opinions whether capitalism is really dying and its life is exhausted, or if it still has a chance to resuscitate. The clear truth is that „it is not good the way it is.‟ Because the seeds of the devil conceived capitalism, besides climate change, poverty, inequality, and social conflict that dominates the world.

Even so, 1% and 99% do not propose the same alternatives and solutions on capitalism. WEF is a league of its own. In terms of this, the forum could not get out of its fortress, that is, compassionate conservatism or compassionate welfare. However, the solutions cannot overcome the current capitalism‟s contradictions while it attempts to reduce inequality in very few developed countries. Nevertheless, it is far from the real solution for external concerns such as climate change, inequality between the Southern Hemisphere and the Northern Hemisphere, and the generational conflicts around the world and the society in general, among others. Even these groups reckon self-reflection, which just prolongs the life technology of gimmick. The alternative solution on capitalism should come out from our hearts, not from the calculator.

With this point of view, the WSF slogan of this year, “Capitalist Crisis, Social and Environmental Justice” seems very proper. However, the solution of WSF is also insufficient. Harsh criticism on capitalism began to pour, but detailed alternatives, which will replace the contradiction of capitalism, have not come out. As endemic as that of WSF, its concern repeats every year with criticism and no solution. If we want to make our hope, “Another World is Possible,” to be possible, then we should first get rid of the existing fortress made by capitalism. What they call solution is just a new rampart to hold us and not escape its fortress. Our world is different from capitalism, and this is the immutable truth. Resisting the capitalist is still effective, but we do not need exert too much effort to do so. The first priority is that we make our own alternatives.

Written by Jin-woo, Lee (Researcher:

3. New Books
The Global Fight for Climate Justice (Translated/Published) The Energy and Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition (ECPI) has translated and published “The Global Fight for Climate Justice” (Ian Angus, 2009) in January 2012. This book includes significant sections such as a summary of reports, online journal, article, statement, and speeches of individual activists, groups, and organizations. These groups have worked in climate change issues classified together as very radical points of views. As we notice from the writers and organizations‟ name, this book shows many opinions and alternatives in various realms from very radical environment action under the key word „climate justice‟ to camp of indigenous people, farmers, labors, and eco-socialism. Even Korea has also networked with environmental groups, social organizations, and progressive parties in 2011, namely the „solidarity for climate justice Korea,‟ which indicates that the level of discussion about climate justice is still in its beginning stage. Therefore, this book is expected to vitalize discussion on climate change and action. Specifically, if considered, traditional environmental groups, trade unions, and other progressive camps in Korea which has deemed diagnostic prescriptive on climate change issue purely as an environmental problem, then the book will help make a more balanced and progressed discussion.

Written by Jung-pil, Lee (Researcher:

4. Act on

1. A general election and presidential election will be held this year. In terms of the ECPI, a preparation of energy policy and energy welfare manifesto will be initiated. 2. The Solidarity for Climate Justice Korea made a plan for this year to focus more on trade unions and farmer groups. Moreover, it will prepare in dealing with international events such as the Nuclear Security Summit (Seoul Korea 26–27March 2012) and the Rio+20 (20–22 June 2012).


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