September 27, 2017 Read More →

South Korean Government Announces Policy Aimed at Curbing Coal Reliance

Korea Herald:

South Korea’s environmental authorities on Tuesday unveiled a package of measures to tackle the worsening air pollution, including shutting down aged coal power plants and reducing pollutants from diesel vehicles and factories.

The measures are aimed at helping reduce fine dust emissions by more than 30 percent by the end of President Moon Jae-in’s term in 2022, authorities said.

According to the Ministry of Environment, the Moon administration is set to close down seven of 59 coal-fired plants aged 30 years or over within its term to mitigate air pollution, while pushing forward to expand the use of green energy production methods like solar and wind power.

At present, coal provides about 40 percent of South Korea’s total power generation.

“The government’s stand is that we will not be planning to build new coal-fired plants,” Ahn Byung-ok, vice minister of the Environment Ministry, said at a press conference Tuesday.

President Moon earlier temporarily suspended the construction of two new nuclear facilities as part of his pledges to shift to renewable energy.

The comprehensive measures came a day after Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung and the ruling Democratic Party of Korea sought to quell public concerns over particulate matter, reiterating the importance of state efforts to fight hazardous, fine particulates.

Public concerns have recently been raised over the worsening air quality as the country’s skyline has for weeks been blanketed by hazardous smog and fine dust clouds.

The worries have centered mostly on the cause of the toxic air, which many critics believe is not only homegrown but also linked to neighboring China.

More: South Korea aims to reduce fine dust by over 30% by 2022

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