Energy and Climate Policy Institute

작성일 : 13-04-03 01:21
Enerzine No 28. Korea’s ‘Green Growth,’ a Pseudonym for ‘Green Wash’
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조회 : 5,646 No.28.pdf [2116]
1. Issues
Korea’s ‘Green Growth,’ a Pseudonym for ‘Green Wash’

The former South Korean government (2008-2012) initially promised to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions under the slogan of ‘low-carbon green growth.' Thus, international organizations such as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) cited South Korea as a representative model of a country that is trying to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Actually, however, South Korea’s ‘Green Growth’ program is expected to increase greenhouse gas emissions until 2020, and this program filled with huge and potentially environmentally destructive construction plan and the expansion of nuclear power generation.

The same administration later announced its greenhouse gas emission reduction and new energy plan that would supposedly improve its totally fictitious ‘Green Growth’ plan. Former South Korean president Lee announced this new ‘Green Growth Strategy’ at COP15 in 2009. In 2010, the country registered the highest volume of greenhouse gas emissions. This means that right after Lee’s administration claimed to support ‘green growth,’ the rate of South Korea’s greenhouse gas emissions jumped up from 1-2% to 9.8% in 2010.

Now we are wondering how some organizations and countries that delivered a panegyric on the South Korean government’s green growth plan and played a part to make international institute (Global Green Growth Institute.: GGGI) such as UNEP and Denmark.

Meanwhile, the South Korean government announced early this year its plan to expand the country’s thermoelectric power plants. Civil societies strongly opposed this plan right after its announcement, but the government did not listen to them. Considering that listening to various opinions and promoting energy democracy are core values of green growth, South Korea’s green growth policy is fraudulent. The more serious problem, though, is that although the new South Korean government, which assumed office only last month, admitted such contradiction in the former government’s green growth plan, it is trying to keep the plan’s basic policy of expanding nuclear power plants to boost the country’s energy supply. The new government just changed the name of the plan from ‘green growth’ to ‘creative economy’. This movement is not limited to South Korea. The governments of other countries had said they are doing their best to reduce their countries’ greenhouse gas emissions, but the global greenhouse gas emissions are rising yearly. This is why we actively accept civic groups’ opinions on international climate change negotiations and countries’ climate change policies.
Written by Jin-woo, Lee (Deputy:
Two years after Fukushima, there was no multitude

On March 9, the ceremony titled ‘Two Years after Fukushima: Commemoration and Friendship Festival’ was held in Seoul Square. The end of the road that leads to the transition from and the phase-out of nuclear energy in South Korea still seems very far. Though this event was a non-event compared with that in 2012, there were considerable changes then. Social concern has been fed by accidents in and corruption of nuclear power plants, which were sometimes revealed to the public.

The Green Party pointed out the following 10 outcomes as positive changes. 1) Emergence of a political party that claims to support nuclear phase-out. : Formation of the Green Party and gathering of National Assembly members for Nuclear Energy Phase-out and Transition 2) Declaration of nuclear phase-out by local governments :  Declaration of Seoul as a ‘Nuclear Phase-out and Energy Transition City’ and its closure of one nuclear power unit. 3) Submission of a basic law on nuclear-free energy and drafting of a scenario of a nuclear-free civil society. 4) Opening of nuclear-free schools and launch of the Nuclear-free Newspaper. 5) Establishment of the Civil Radioactivity Monitor Center by civic groups. 6) Pledges and activities of all social movements to go nuclear-free. 7) Protest against new nuclear reactors in Samcheok and Yeongdeok and protests to shut down the No. 1 Gori Nuclear Power Plant and the No. 1 Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant. 8) Protest of elderly women in Miryang and Cheongdo against a power transmission tower and launch of a Nuclear-free Bus 9) (Although much remains to be done) Launch of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission. 10) Gathering of citizens at a nuclear-free square for the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Although these positive accomplishments cannot be ignored, Korea has a long way to go.

The nuclear cartel is still firm enough for the new conservative administration of President Park Geun-hye to enforce policies that expand nuclear development and export of nuclear technology in its policy package for a ‘creative economy.’ On the other hand, those who are against nuclear technology do not have enough capabilities and social influence to put the nuclear cartel in check. This applies to the representative online movement Joint Action for a Nuclear-free Society. The main opposition party, the Democratic United Party (DUP), is also on the sidelines when it comes to this issue, except for some lawmakers. The network and the DUP seem interested in creating joint inertial projects rather than getting across their message to citizens who could become interested in going nuclear-free. This could be why it is impossible to expect a daily and creative cracking for the common cause of going nuclear-free.

We cannot expect a multitude of average people to have a constitutive and subversive potentia through protests such as those in the past. We now need to be more focused and clear on the fact that to achieve some progress in our drive to go nuclear-free, we cannot rely on some opposition parties for the power to make reforms and we should not stick to old-fashioned ways of doing things. What we need to do on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster is to look back at ourselves!

Written by Jung-pil, Lee (Researcher:

2. Act On
<Research Projects>

- “2013 House Repair of Hope Project” Evaluation.
: Korea Housing Welfare Association provided house repair services to low-income families to promote house energy efficiency this year. ECPI evaluated this project’s effectiveness and presents social suggestions this year followed by 2012.

- Research on Green Job Network Building and Reinforcing in Seoul
: ECPI plan to research on green job net work building and reinforcing with important stakeholders as a next step of last year work, ‘Green Jobs in South Korea: Potential and Perspectives’, supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Korean Office

- Research on policy direction and design to adopt carbon tax
: Korea already set up the green house gas emission reduction target as 30% from BAU until 2020 and climate change has been worse. In this situation carbon tax has been one of the solutions. But there are many important issues and it should not be distorted. In terms of this ECPI will research on carbon tax and suggest better policy direction and design.


- Raise Energy Saving Consultant with the Seoul Government
: AS a part of ‘Reduce One Nuclear Power Unit Project’ of the Seoul, ECPI take a part to educate energy saving and raise energy consultant.

<Supporting Project>

- Supporting Solar Energy System to Local School in Remote Area and Training Local Communities in Xayabury, Laos
: ECPI support solar energy system to local school in remote area and training course in vocational school in Xayabury, Laos supported by KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency). It will contribute to improve educational environment.


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