Energy and Climate Policy Institute

작성일 : 12-04-30 12:05
Enerzine No 20. South Korea is looking for a CCS site as a strategy to circumvent the severe reduction of CO2 emission
 글쓴이 : 에정센…
조회 : 5,093 No. 20.pdf [2046]
1. Issues

South Korea is looking for a CCS (carbon capture and storage) site as a strategy to circumvent the severe reduction of CO2 emission

The South Korean government and companies that depend heavily on fossil fuels like oil and coal are very passive with regard to CO2 emission reduction. The greenhouse gas emission reduction plan announced by the Lee administration has been criticized by ECPI and many other South Korean civil societies as an excessively difficult goal. Moreover, this goal is planned to be pursued through the very dangerous use of nuclear power and not through energy consumption reduction or the use of renewable energy. That is, the plan involves the reduction of the use of fossil fuels through the expansion of the use of nuclear power while maintaining the existing system, energy wastage, and overconsumption.
In this situation, the South Korean government adopts another strategy. It makes a decisive effort to engage in the technical development and introduction of CCS (carbon capture and storage), a geo-engineering method criticized by many scientists and civil organizations as a large-scale experiment on Earth. The South Korean government showed its intention to develop a CCS site at the sea bottom near Ulleungdo Island, a controversial area between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. According to the South Korean government, there is enough space in the sea bottom rock layer to contain 5 billion tons of CO2, the government’s emission reduction amount goal, which translates to 32 million per year for 150 years. A plant will be explored until 2015 and is intended to be commercialized beginning in 2020.

The technical viability of CCS, however, has not been conclusively proven. Examination is needed from various points of view, such as the following: “Can CO2 be insulated?”, “Is there any potential problem in the sea ecosystem?”, and “Is there any risk involved when transport CO2 is emitted from the land to the sea?” A social debate on these and other related issues is needed due to the government’s plan to adopt the aforementioned strategy of evasion of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

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

Winds of nuclear phase-out in South Korea

Last March 4, the Green Party, whose key thrust is “Phasing out Nuclear Power and Promoting Agriculture and Life,” was formed in South Korea. Although many experiments on green politics have been conducted for the past 10 years, this is the first time that the qualifications were actually met, and that an official green political party was formed. Actually, the Green Party was formed through the initiative of the people who were shocked by the occurrence of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant accident. It was also the result of the proliferation of critical minds on the existing political powers that cannot represent the rural people’s sense of crisis caused by the South Korea-USA FTA, the food crisis involving the mad-cow-disease-infested beef imports from the U.S., and the Big 4 River Project, which will totally destroy the environment.

The Green Party participated in the recent general election with five candidates, within a month from its establishment, but no congressperson got elected. This can be attributed to the fact that the existing electoral system blocks off small parties and small political powers from politics as well as to the exclusion of the mainstream press and the Green Party’s lack of a complex political machinery. “Nuclear phase-out,” however, surfaced as an important political campaign issue. Unlike the ruling party, which is composed of conservatives, the Democratic United Party, the first opposition party in the country, modified its doctrine into “the full reexamination of the nuclear policy,” and the Unified Progressive Party, the second opposition party in the country, adopted “Nuclear Phase-out 2040” as a doctrine when the Green Party was formed. Based on this phenomenon, it is expected that the presidential election, which will be held in December, will be a watershed of social agreement on many issues relating to nuclear power plants, such as the extension of the life of nuclear power plants whose lives have already ended, the selection of a site for a new nuclear power plant, a safety plan for radioactive foods, and a disposer of nuclear waste. In this situation, the role of the Green Party and the new progressive party received considerable attention.

Written by Kang-Jun, Lee (Researcher : )

2. New Report

“Green Jobs in South Korea: Potential and Perspectives”

ECPI presented a report entitled “Green Jobs in South Korea: Potential and Perspectives,” with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Korean Office, on April 19, 2012 in Seoul. ECPI outlined the history and current situation of the South Korean economy and society from the viewpoint of the green economy and green jobs. In turn, ECPI argued for the need for a new sociopolitical alliance between the labor movements, the civil society movements, and green enterprises for the establishment of a green economy based on social justice. The following were recommended: (1) that a larger picture of social- and industrial-structure transition be drawn based on and utilizing the current economic structure and characteristics of the governance of South Korea; (2) that policy programs be developed and experimented on in the area where green jobs are highly effective and where the residents can easily participate (renewable energy distribution, housing efficienticizing, environment management service, etc.); (3) that the transition process eliminate the employment-related threats faced by the laborers, and that detailed plans be made to provide jobs for and to actually improve the lives of the socially disadvantaged; and (4) that the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident be utilized as an opportunity to raise the South Koreans’ awareness of the need for energy transition and food safety.

The full report can be downloaded from this site.
Written by Jae-kak, Han (Deputy Director: )


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