Energy and Climate Policy Institute

작성일 : 12-11-07 04:09
Enerzine No 25. Green Climate Fund and the Irrationality of the Korean Government
 글쓴이 : 에정센…
조회 : 5,600 No. 25.pdf [2190]
1. Issues

                            Green Climate Fund and the Irrationality of the Korean Government

 The Republic of Korea has been chosen as the location of the head office of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which the United Nations confirmed and made official in the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in Cancun. As such, the entire country is in a festive mood. The Korean government has stated that this is the first time that not only Korea but also Northeast Asia will be the headquarters of an international organization. Moreover, the Korean government is patting itself heartily in the back for this development, which it is saying translates to global recognition of its ‘Low Carbon, Green Growth’ policy. Moreover, the government said the development will have an economic effect on Korea in the amount of USD350 million. Even though the fund has not been fully collected yet, the Korean government is already using rhetorical phrases such as ‘The World Bank in the environment sector.’ Yes! Although GCF’s character and usage are not clear or fixed yet, there is a huge possibility that it will be similar to the World Bank. What is the meaning of the World Bank to us? The World Bank is pretending to support the Third World, but is actually acting like a gangster that is intensifying developing countries’ economic dependency and pushing neo-liberalism very hard. This is why it is unwilling to welcome the emergence of a new ‘gangster group’ in the environment sector.

 What is important is how much funds will GCF collect and whether or not it will effectively use such funds. Since 2010, it has collected only USD800,000 from Australia and the Netherlands. Though all countries have committed to pool their funds to raise a total of USD100 billion for GCF until 2020, it is doubtful if they will live up to their commitment. Even this fund size is much smaller, however, than the damage caused by climate change. Besides, GCF may not only lag behind the Third World’s capacity based on neo-liberalism, but may also formulate and expand distorted policies such as on REDD or palm oil, as IMF and the World Bank have done. Thus, we need to observe it closely and criticize it if needed. The Korean government persists, however, in giving people the skewed information that GCF is the outcome of its efforts. This is the green growth that the Korean government continuously talks about.

                                                              Written by Jin-woo, Lee (Researcher:
                                                  Anti-nuclear Power Rally

Korea has been steadily advocating antinuclear power activism ever since Japan’s Fukushima accident. On October 20, an antinuclear power rally was held at the Seoul City Hall Plaza.
The Joint Action for a Nuclear-free Society, which consists of 76 civil society organizations, religious groups, and political parties, held an antinuclear power rally at 2 p.m. on October 20 on the topic “Dreaming of a Nation of Sun and Wind.” About 1,000 people gathered for the rally.
They shouted out their demands for (1) the shutdown of the aging nuclear power plants Gori Unit 1 and Wolsong Unit 1, (2) the cancellation of lot specifications notice for a new nuclear power plant in Yeongdeok, Samcheok, (3) the suspension of nuclear power plant construction development and the retraction of the nuclear power magnification policy, (4) the suspension of the extra-high-voltage (765kV) transmission tower construction in Milyang, (5) the reduction of energy demand and the expansion of renewable energy, (6) the enhancement of safety regulations on the operation of nuclear power plants and the overall re-organization of the Nuclear Safety Commission, and (7) the suspension of Japanese radio-active contaminated food imports.
The Japanese antinuclear power activists who have been campaigning for 10 Million People in Action in Japan participated in the event and announced that they will band together with the Korean activists for the cause. They said: “The 10 Million People in Action campaign, which was proposed by 9 people, including the Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburo Oe, was held on September 16 in Tokyo, and a total of 17 million people gathered for the rally. There should never be a second or third Fukushima accident in the future.”

                                                              Written by Boyoung, Cho (

2. Opinion

                                          High-level Climate Change Talks

Prior to UNFCCC, Pre-C0P18, a ministerial conference on climate change, was held on October 22-23 with ministerial personnel from 40 countries.
Many Korean organizations did not pay much attention to the conference, however, since it highlighted the issues that are currently shaking Korea, which included the presidential elections and the antinuclear power movement. Fortunately, no notable activities or talks took place at the conference. Still, Korea is only interested in its possible economic gains from setting up a Green Climate Fund (GCF). Also, the current government, which is experiencing the lame duck phenomenon, spent more than KRW10 billion from the national treasury to execute a PR campaign for the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). How on earth can such moves contribute to Korea’s response to the crisis of climate change that the world is facing? As for GGGI, what we need right now is responsible action instead of another institution! Wouldn’t it have been more effective and worthwhile to spend KRW10 billion aiding countries that are vulnerable to climate change or underdeveloped countries than funding GGGI?
At the conference, the environment ministers of the participating countries discussed the political direction of the key issues that would be dealt with at the 18th COP18, which will be held in Doha, Qatar, and announced the Chairman’s summary based on the items agreed upon at the conference.
According to the summary, the countries agreed to adopt the Revised Kyoto Protocol on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The countries also agreed to end their long-term cooperative action tract and to complete by 2015 their negotiations (Durban Platform) for a new climate system for the year 2020.

                                                    Written by Boyoung, Cho (

3. New Report

                                            Recycling Cooperatives and Green Job Policy

ECPI conducted a research on recycling cooperatives and the green job policy. The recycling industry in Korea has been expanding and centering on vulnerable social groups. Many of these people are either elderly or handicapped who earn less than KRW10,000 daily. Thus, their monthly income is KRW300,000; but considering that the minimum cost of living in Korea is KRW550,000, they have a very low income. Moreover, they competitively collect recyclables on the streets, so they are bound to do hard labor longer. Eventually, they fall into the restraints of hard labor and low wages.

After a long time, the waste disposal system in Korea is now in force in municipalities. Since the IMF crisis, however, to achieve economic efficiency, the majority of the system was commissioned to private enterprises. Thus, various routes sprang up that included the system of collecting trash regularly, collecting recyclables and recycling, and random waste collection and disposal by vulnerable social classes.

 In Korea, the current number of unregistered waste pickers is estimated to be 150,000 to 870,000. This is due to the long history of Korean junk shops. It is now illegal to own a junk shop in large cities in Korea, including in Seoul, but the number of junk shops is expected to further increase as the economic climate worsens. As a result, the Ministry of Environment planned to determine the exact number of waste pickers in Korea and established the environmental standards that they will be required to meet, but the talks for the implementation of such plan came to a deadlock due to the fierce opposition of countless junkyard owners and waste pickers.

 The recycling business is a green and labor-intensive industry that is drawing public attention especially now when climate change and energy issues are becoming more serious. By creating jobs in this business, vulnerable social classes can receive appropriate wages even as the recycling rate will increase, which will prevent waste of resources and reduce energy consumption. To achieve this objective, this research proposed the cooperative method. Co-ops have the advantages of having strongly survived numerous economic crises and of being more democratic than general private enterprises.
This research determined the possibility of stimulating the recycling industry in Korea by studying relevant cases in Japan, Brazil, and Belgium. In Korea, the Cooperatives Act will take effect on December 1, 2012.

 4. Act on

                                                  Third Anniversary Symposium

ECPI held its third anniversary symposium entitled “Thinking of the Next Government’s Energy Climate Policy.”
With the presidential elections in Korea happening this December, the news in the country is dominated by the presidential elections. Now, when conversion to antinuclear and renewable energy is required to break away from the current government’s anti-environmental and nuclear-power-oriented policies, ECPI proposed a pertinent policy. Moreover, we invited policy makers from the different parties to hear their positions and share our opinions with them. This will enable voters to gauge the energy and climate change policy of each candidate as their judgment standard for the elections.


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