South Korea pledges carbon neutrality by 2050 – a new opportunity for Korean industries

President Moon Jae-In has announced that the Republic of Korea vows to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 during his budget speech at the National Assembly.

According to the International Energy Agency, China, Japan and South Korea have relied on fossil fuels, as their primary energy supply, nearly 90% in 2018. However, with China’s announcement to reach carbon neutrality before 2060 in September, Japan recently vowed to also cut its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. Now, Korea’s 2050 carbon net zero pledge is another indicator of the global shift towards industrial decarbonization.

Jude Lee, Program Director of Greenpeace East Asia, welcomed the pledge and said:

“After China’s and Japan’s ambitious climate goals, President Moon’s 2050 net zero announcement is a step forward followed. We expect that this important pledge leads the Korean industry to swiftly shift from fossil fuels to a 100% renewable based system. This is an opportunity for South Korea to contribute to global climate efforts through its New Southern policy which has high economic and diplomatic relevance to Southeast Asia and India.”

Greenpeace Korea said the 2050 net zero announcement should also be viewed as a good business opportunity to challenge the existing industry practices which have been driven by dirty fossil fuels.

“South Korea has been seen as an industry leader in the IT and car sectors in the global markets. However these companies have not yet committed to any new business plans that meet this pledge. Now, the die is cast. Whether or not the influential South Korean corporations remain as laggards in the climate fight is the key point to watch out for,” Lee added.

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