South Korea finalized its first five-year plan to bring down national emissions during a Cabinet meeting on April 11. The country, which is Asia’s fourth-largest economy, aims to emit 40% fewer emissions compared to 2018 by the end of this decade.
According to the plan, which was approved at the Government Complex Seoul, South Korea should emit 436.6 million metric tons of CO2 or its equivalent by 2030, as compared to a net of 727.6 million tons in 2018.
The country’s Prime Minister, Han Duck-soo, said South Korea will monitor and disclose its emissions every year until 2030 and will follow annual emission targets. This year the Asian country is to emit up to 633.9 million tons of CO2, or 13% less than in 2018.
“I understand that there are some concerns raised about the audacious plan, but we should waste no time,” Han said.
The Korean government also agreed to ease the burden of bringing down CO2 emissions for various sectors. The country has previously pledged to reduce industry emissions by 14.5 percent. Under the new agreement, the industry players will have to decrease their combined emissions by 11.4% to 230.7 million tons.
The government is also looking to advance new technologies such as CO2 capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and boost the use of hydrogen as a source of energy.
In 2021, the country planned to use CCUS to capture and store 10.3 million of CO2. During this Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, the government increased that number to 11.2 million tons of carbon.
Korea’s goal is to have nuclear power cover 32.4% of its energy needs, and renewable energy cover 21.6% by 2030.
The plan is estimated at a combined 89.9 trillion won ($68.1 billion) in the next five years, with the budget going up by an average of 11.5% per year.
South Korea aims to become CO2 neutral by mid-century.