Korea: Carbon neutrality plan lacks plan for carbon neutrality, say experts


South Korean coal plant [image credit: worldcoal.com]

What a shame — but all too familiar. Attempts at climate virtue signalling are easy but trying to spell out, let alone impose, unrealistic ‘solutions’ is not.
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The push for carbon neutrality is one of the biggest policy initiatives under the Moon Jae-in administration, but energy experts say that the plan to make Korea a carbon neutral society by 2050 is both unclear and unrealistic,reports the Korea JoongAng Daily.

The science minister, industry minister and environment minister on Wednesday announced an investment strategy to fund research and development (R&D) efforts for carbon neutrality.

The basic idea of the government’s Wednesday plan is to develop technology that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions to match the amount that is produced at Korea’s industrial sites — not a small task considering that Korea’s economy is still dominated by manufacturing industries.

The government pinpointed 10 areas that could receive investments under this goal. This includes technology involved in generating power from solar and wind, hydrogen and biomass; transmission of ecofriendly fuel; reduction of carbon emissions in steelmaking, cement and petrochemical industries; and combining digital technology to increase fuel efficiency in these fields.

Start-ups that have the relevant technology will receive government support from the business development stage. Companies already engaged in such activities will be granted tax cuts and other financial benefits.

The plan sounds good on paper, but the question is: How realistic is it?

In a country where manufacturing industries are so established and coal consumption remains high, Korea would need ground-breaking technology to generate power with zero carbon emissions.

Experts say Wednesday’s blueprint is too fuzzy to bring about practical results.

“It doesn’t really say how carbon emissions can be cut,” said Roh Dong-seok, a researcher at Seoul National University’s Energy Policy Center. “The plan lacks detail and is unrealistic.”

Continued here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop


April 1, 2021 at 10:51AM

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