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작성일 : 12-08-01 18:49
Enerzine No 23. Inconvenient Truth about the Electricity Bill
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   http://enerpol.net/newsletter/Enerzine/Enerzine No. 23.pdf  [2030]
1. Issues
Inconvenient Truth about the Electricity Bill
 
An intense debate involving the electricity price increase continues in Korea. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), the government agency in charge of energy, and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), a public enterprise are in conflicts. KEPCO insists that since the current electric price in Korea is only 90% of the production cost, it has requested the government for a16.8%increase: raising 10.7% first and another 6.7% through a fuel linkage program. KEPCO maintains that only the price increase will enable them to respond to the demand for electricity. However, MKE insists that a sudden electricity price hike will affect prices, while it is amenable to its own stance of 4–5% increase. At a glance, it appears that KEPCO insists on the electricity price increase to reduce energy consumption, but in reality, its intent is to unload onto the citizens the deficit of USD 70 billion that accumulated due to poor management. MKE’s proposal seems like a rational arbitration plan that takes account of the prices imposed on the people; however, the proposal is actually meant to block the price impact on the December presidential election this year. Moreover, MKE has to gradually increase the electricity price but plans to lower the price later on after the completion of a 14-reactor nuclear power plant, which is currently being promoted for construction. This means that MKE is not at all interested in the demand management of energy or the measures against global warming. The people are suffering from price hikes caused by economic policies solely created for large corporations and from the heat wave and flooding generated from global warming. In other words, they are thoroughly alienated. Furthermore, it looks like the limit of “Green Capitalism” or “Green Economy” does not resolve the root of climate change problems since they depend on uncertain market economy. Therefore, whatever these “giant dinosaurs” do brings us discomfort.
 
Written by Jin-woo, Lee (Researcher: purevil@naver.com)

Can Korean presidential election begin the phase-out nuclear politics?
 
In 2012, important elections take place consecutively in Korea. In April, the parliamentary election has already taken place, while the presidential election is expected to transpire in December. The antinuclear campaign, which has been reignited in Korea after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident, initiates political action. After establishing a key slogan of antinuclear campaign, Green Party participated in the parliamentary election (unfortunately, none of its members was elected), and several politicians who supported the antinuclear policy were elected to the Democratic United Party (DUP) and Unified Progressive Party (UPP). By electing a nuclear scientist as the number one proportional representative, the ruling party, Saenuri, indirectly expressed its support for nuclear power. However, as the presidential election nears, influential presidential candidates from DUP, which is expected to produce the next president, started to release its own antinuclear policies. DUP is in fact a conservative opposition party that promoted nuclear power development in the previous government, but after the Fukushima incident, it changed its position on nuclear power following the heightened antinuclear public opinion. However, civic groups and other opposition parties including the Green Party doubt whether DUP will stick to the antinuclear policy to the end. They worry that in competing with the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Saenuri, the presidential candidate from DUP may change his original position.

Written by Jae-kak, Han (Deputy Director: hanclk@hanmail.net)

2. Opinion

What Rio meant for ecosocialist ideology
 
RIO DE JANEIRO – The global elite who tried to promote a corporate ‘Green Economy’ public relations strategy at the ‘Rio+20’ Earth Summit in late June failed miserably, offering the world no relief from multiple socio-environmental crises. The primary reason is that the ideology upon which they rely is bankrupt.

Twenty years ago, the political tone for the first Rio Earth Summit – and more generally for the corporate control of nature – was set by Larry Summers, the World Bank’s senior vice president and chief economist. In an infamous memo that he signed, soon leaked by The Economist magazine, Summers – who was later to become US finance minister, Harvard University president, and Obama economic czar – asserted the merits of pollution trade.

“The economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste on the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that,” said Summers. “African countries are vastly under polluted.”

The World Bank is still the ideological source of maniac-neoliberal thinking, even if the man who took charge as president in early July, Jim Yong Kim, is formerly a progressive medic and anthropologist. But the underlying principles of privatized environmentalism will continue, maturing seamlessly from Summers’ crudity to the slick new Bank report, Inclusive Green Growth, in which the aim is “to wisely use natural resources while supporting the robust growth developing countries still need.” According to bank staff led by Inger Andersen and Rachel Kyte. The objective is to move the economy “away from suboptimalities and increase efficiency – and hence contribute to short-term growth – while protecting the environment.”

Of course, Andersen and Kyte dare not question financiers’ chaotic commodity speculation, export-led growth or the irrationality of so much international trade, including wasted bunker fuel for shipping not to mention truck freight. Instead, the Bank’s Inclusive Green Growth arguments always return to profit incentives: “If the environment is considered as productive capital, it makes sense to invest in it, and environmental policies can be considered as investment.”

Addressing pollution is deceptively simple within the Bank’s neoliberal narrative, in which a market problem is fixed with a market solution. For example, “Lack of property rights in the sea has led to overfishing – in some cases with devastating results. The use of individual transferable quotas can correct this market failure, increasing both output and employment in the fishing industry.”

The Bank’s banal reversion to transferable quotas – also known as cap-and-trade – is most extreme in the greenhouse gas markets, where the price of a ton of carbon has crashed from ?35 to ?7 these last six years. The Bank subsidizes carbon trading heavily, and ignores the deeper critique of carbon markets developed, for example, in our new report, “CDMs Cannot Deliver the Money to Africa.”

In contrast to neoliberalised-nature ideology, there are eco-feminist-socialist theories that fight this kind of commodification. In his new book, Beautiful Green World (published in English by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation), Ulrich Brand busts the ‘Green Economy’ myths promoted by the World Bank and corporate greenwashers.

Likewise, in her book Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice, University of Sydney political ecologist Ariel Salleh observes how a triple externalization of costs “takes the form of an extraction of surpluses, both economic and thermodynamic: 1) a social debt to inadequately paid workers; 2) an embodied debt to women family caregivers; and 3) an ecological debt drawn on nature at large.”

Reversing these debts could well require a full-fledged re-accounting of socio-economic and environmental values to toss out the fatally-flawed GDP indicator, and to internalize environment and society in the ways we assess costs and benefits. This exercise would logically both precede and catalyze a full-fledged transformation of financing, extraction, production, transport and distribution, consumption and disposal systems.

Amongst the critiques of Rio was the Dhaka Declaration of the South Asia Women’s Network: ‘Today, those who have created the ecological crisis talk of the Green Economy. For them, the Green Economy means appropriating the remaining resources of the planet for profit — from seed and biodiversity to land and water as well as our skills, such as the environmental services we provide. For us, the privatization and commodification of nature, her species, her ecosystems, and her ecosystem services cannot be part of a Green Economy, for such an approach cannot take into account our traditions. The resources of the Earth are for the welfare of all, not the profits of a few.’

This is a fine place to begin the ideological counter-offensive.

This article has written by Patrick Bond directs the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society, a Rosa Luxemburg Foundation partner in Durban. And we include this article under the permission.
 
3. Act On
1.  ECPI prepare international symposium
“International Trends of Atomausstieg-Policies and the Exploration of a Way for Korea” In Oct.
2. Second ‘Just Energy’ project begins: ECPI will support solar power system in Laos
3. Research: Energy scenario for nuclear phase out 2030.
            Strategy of green job creation in Seoul

 
   
 




 
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