Energy and Climate Policy Institute
 
KOREAN  |  ENGLISH


       Newsletter
 
작성일 : 13-02-07 01:55
Enerzine No 27. Full of Lies! Block the Exporting of the Green Growth Policy
 글쓴이 : 에정센…
조회 : 4,620  
   http://enerpol.net/newsletter/Enerzine/Enerzine No.27.pdf [1851]
1. Issues

Full of Lies! Block the Exporting of the Green Growth Policy

Last January 7, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) announced the result of its examination of the Four-River Project. The Four-River Project falls under the green growth policy of the Lee administration, which has been emphasized by President Lee Myung-park from the beginning of his term, but the implementation of the project was expected to give rise to many problems. Thus, many environmental NGOs, farmer groups, and other members of the civil society strongly opposed the project. The government said that the project will not cause any problem, but BAI’s examination showed even more negative effects of the project’s implementation than the environmental groups had pointed out, and revealed serious, generally poor construction.

BAI’s 2012 audit showed that wrong designs were used to build 16 reservoirs for irrigation on the four rivers, casting a doubt on the structural integrity of 11 of them. BAI also found that 12 of the reservoirs are too weak to withstand the shocks that can occur when their floodgates are opened, and that in three reservoirs, multiple cracks have already appeared. Moreover, the flooring of 15 reservoirs built to prevent erosion from currents had been damaged or had subsided, and 11 had faulty reinforcements, resulting in damage to six reservoirs.
 
Finally, however, BAI approved the Lee administration’s Four-River Project, which is full of lies. This, however, is not merely a national issue because recently, even if the Lee administration has only one month left, it has tried to export this poor Four-River Project to other countries, especially in Southeast Asia. One such case is the Chao Phraya River Project. When Bangkok was hit by a huge flood, the government of Thailand planned to establish an effective river management system. President Lee visited Thailand then and had a meeting with its prime minister to promote South Korea’s Four-River Project and the construction companies that are part of the project. As mentioned earlier, the Four-River Project’s economic, environmental, and social problems have been pointed out. As such, the South Korean civil society must stop its implementation. Already, some NGOs are trying to relay these truths to Thailand, but President Lee criticized this action and said, “The behaviors of some South Korean NGOs are very unpatriotic” and “This is not the role of NGOs; the relevant ministry must respond to this.”

Let’s think! We already know that the Four-River Project has many problems; how come we are making efforts to export it just to make lots of money? We should stop the Lee administration’s wrong green growth policy and Four-River Project. This is the real role of NGOs that deeply care about the environment and green growth.

Written by Bo-young, Cho (Researcher : jobo8184@gmail.com)





2. Opinion
                                    Prospects for International Situations in Energy and Climate Areas
 
1) Political and Economic Outlook

(1) Complex puzzle: A crisis begets another crisis.

◯ Not only climate change but also the seriousness of non-traditional human security problems such as environment and diseases increase. Competition over energy and resources is intensifying and diverse players are active in international politics; hence, circumstances are becoming increasingly complex and fluid. In this sense, the international situation is expected to remain unstable for some time. (Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, 2013) Under the structure in which diversity of security and its domains are being globally expanded and the players on diverse levels participate, these characteristics over comprehensive environmental issues will become more prominent. (Byung-du, Choi,2004; Lee, 2012).

◯ Even the Davos forum was held this year to discuss ‘flexible dynamism’ and arouse the awareness of ‘perfect global storm,’ which is likely to occur. This means that it would be a global disaster if the simultaneous shock of the economic (extended economic stagnation, chronic fiscal disparity and serious income gap) and environment systems (increased green house gases and natural disaster, increased damage caused by natural disasters, and water supply risks) fail globally. (Hyundai research institute - HR, 2013b) However, the results of media’s political struggles with such uncertain elements are open. They can develop into either a more democratic or a more oppressive system/society. For example, attention should be given to the recent contention (Hayes․ Buxton, 2012) that recently climate change has become a security (military) issue, as it raises the possibility of international confrontation rather than international cooperation. Consequently, now is the time when dealing with the question of security concerning its source and its beneficiaries is important. Policy coordination or global integration is being emphasized but whether it will actually work under these circumstances is uncertain.

 (2) Where is the world headed?

◯ The global recession caused by the U.S. financial crisis in 2008 is expected to continue until 2017 and 2018. (Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, 2013) The instability of the world order will deepen due to the vacuum of global governance and weakened leadership. (Hyundai research institute - HR, 2013b) However, the G2 system of China and the U.S. can lead to further progress or a single multi-polar system, in which many powers can form another axis under a new system. (Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, 2013)  Regarding this year’s economic conditions, most people agree that the world economy has entered the low growth period. The growth of advanced countries is restricted due to fiscal contraction and the developing countries will continue to play a central role in the vitality of the world economy. (Hyundai research institute - HR, 2013b; The Bank of Korea, 2013; Samsung economic research institute, 2013b) The trends that China and the U.S. lead the world economy, in particular, will be strengthened. (LG Economic Research Institute, 2013b) However, the stagnation of Europe and Japan will be protracted while the instability of intensifying foreign exchange and trade initiative conflicts between China and the U.S. will continue. (Samsung economic research institute, 2013b) And in the event that the U.S. fiscal cliff, China hard landing, strengthening protective trade, Iran risks (presidential election in June) are actualized, the double-dip of the global economy is feared. In all these, political and social conflicts over regime shift/reform worldwide are expected to intensify due to economic crisis and fiscal contraction.

 (3) Notable Events

◯ The Tyndall Report has indicated that the most frequent news reports in the U.S. particularly in 2012 were the presidential election, climate events, violence, and disputes not only in the U.S. but also in the Middle East. (Inter Press Service, 2013. 1. 18) Considering the successful reelection of President Obama along with the domestic and foreign pressures, cautious optimistic views on climate policy are also more widely expected than in the past. (Inter Press Service, 2013. 1. 22) The more notable event than these, however, is the decision of EU to adopt financial transaction tax (FTT). Although it will begin with some countries, positive responses are coming out, indicating that the financial transaction tax will be effective in coping with climate change. Detailed matters will be discussed later on as the newly incurred expenditure plans are said to be increasingly controversial (Inter Press Service, 2013. 1. 23).

◯ Because of the 18th UN COP in Doha in 2013, the second reduction system virtually has become a mere scrap of paper. The reason for this is that the mass withdrawal of non-European advanced countries from mandatory reduction led to the stage of negotiating the climate system after 2020. EU’s policy to remain in the mandatory reduction system is mostly understood as a unilateral preemptive measure to persuade the U.S. and the other countries. Nevertheless, the Durban Platform negotiation, which will end in 2015, is expected to be difficult. It may not be completed until the 19th UN Climate of Paris General Assembly and several other official/unofficial meetings (including the Climate Change Summit proposed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon). Disastrous events brought by climate change may intensify as they occur more frequently. In 2012 alone, every corner of the world was shocked by drought, forest fire, flood, torrential rain, and typhoon. As FAO warned, if abnormal climate continues this year, food crisis may occur on a global scale. (The Hangyeore 21, 2013. 1. 7).

◯ Most of all, how the no-nuke trends will develop will become an urgent matter of concern. To sum up Japan’s conservative shift trends and Prime Minister Abe’s remarks, the nuclear plant closure policy of the 2012 Democrat cabinet might be reversed. Although they may not construct new nuclear power plants immediately, Japan’s overall no-nuke camp will be negatively influenced. On the other hand, Germany’s conversion to no-nuke energy will continue despite some controversies over electric charges and other concerns. Besides, the policy trends of France or Europe should be closely observed. However, such countries as China and Korea maintain the existing expansive policy, so the no-nuke-pro-nuke phase that was formed after the 2011 Fukushima incident is expected to continue.

2) Energy/Resources Outlook

(1) How will energy-climate dynamics be?

◯ The year 2013 appears to record a year of drastic changes over international energy-climate issues. Competition for securing resources along with traditional, regional conflicts may intensify (Hyundai research institute - HR, 2013a). In Northeast Asia, uncertainty in diplomatic environment has heightened due to changes in political terrain, but prediction is possible that diplomacy along with each country’s pursuit of control and practical interest rather than confrontation is likely to develop. (Samsung economic research institute, 2013b) Nevertheless, the geopolitical risk of the Middle East areas has become more unstable. (Samsung economic research institute, 2013b ; Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, 2013)

◯ The core variable of changes in the world energy market will be the revival of oil and gas production in the U.S. This can be easily understood when the event that the U.S. already became the world’s largest gas-producing country after beating out Russia in 2009 is recollected. IEA expects that the U.S. will emerge as the world’s largest oil-producing country in mid-2020s after beating out Saudi Arabia, as non-conventional fossil energy sand oil and shale gas mining increases. The U.S.’s oil imports will gradually decrease, and it will become a complete oil-exporting country around 2030 (Ministry of Knowledge Economy, 2012). This trend can become faster, as BP predicted that the U.S. would become the world’s largest oil-producing country due to increase in non-conventional oil production in 2013 after beating out Saudi Arabia. (Gasnews, 2013. 1. 22) Accordingly, it can be predicted that U.S.-Russia-China competition for ‘gas dominance’ over shale gas and natural gas may likewise intensify (Joo-myoung Song, 2012). Meanwhile, as environmental and social controversies over non-conventional energy intensify and opposition hardens, these can emerge as the biggest issue in the energy-climate area. On the other hand, controversies over oil production peak and energy conversion are expected to intensify as well. 

◯ Meanwhile, there are differing views on the prospects for renewable energy. The optimistic prospects that increase in the use of new renewable energy lead to an increase in related investments as well as green job employment. (Hyundai research institute - HR, 2013b) Pessimistic prospects arise from the growth recession in the renewable energy industry. This may be due to the stalemate in climate change convention and reduction in policy support (Samsung economic research institute, 2013b). Gas and coal price decline will continue while the restructuring of new renewable energy enterprises will accelerate. The growth trends of renewable energy in countries as Korea, China, and some countries in Southern Europe can be stagnant due to internal and external influences. However, but as various international energy-related organizations have expected, it appears that there will be no big changes in the existing growth trends.

(2) Economic prospects for energy resources

◯ The price of raw materials such as nonferrous metals continued to decline due to Europe’s financial crisis and China’s sluggish economic indicators. Recently, however, rising trends are observed on the strength of motivating businesses in major countries. The demand for electricity, among other priorities in major consumption countries is expected to increase. However, in the case of oil, the increase in demand is less than the increase in supply, so the prices are expected to slightly decline (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), 2012).

On the other hand, the world grain price will continue to rise. The world’s grain production and consumption in 2013 are expected to be 2.236 billion tons and 2.281 billion tons, respectively. Due to such variables as crop situation, climate change and agricultural powers’ export ban accordingly, both grain prices and grain supply and demand are expected to undergo difficulties.

Written by Jung-pil, Lee (Researcher: scumaru3440@hanmail.net)
 Jin-woo, Lee (Deputy: purvil@naver.com)

 
   
 




 
     Energy and Climate Policy Institute
    [04207] 2nd FL, 14-15, Mapo-daero 14ga-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
    Tel. 82-2-6404-8440 _ Fax. 82-2-6402-8439 _ E-mail. mail@ecpi.or.kr _ Website. http://ecpi.or.kr