South Korean Democratic Party wins national election promising Green Deal
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Combustion Industry News Editor
South Koreans have voted in favour of a type of ‘green deal’, giving the country’s Democratic Party who proposed it a landslide victory in national elections on 15 April. Similar to the European Green Deal championed by the European Commission, South Korea’s goal is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and the plan includes a carbon tax, a requirement to end investment in coal, a hydrogen strategy, and a focus on investment in renewable energies. Interestingly, South Korea’s Green Deal was influenced directly by the EC’s Green Deal, showing the (positively) contagious effect policy setting can have internationally. With South Korea being the 7th most carbon polluting nation in the world, and one of the largest investors in coal, achieving net zero emissions will be a mammoth task. Political momentum is with the Democratic Party, however, with 70% of citizens approving of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the party’s number of seats increasing in the parliament from 120 to 180 (out of 300), giving it now a substantial majority. In addition, as Forbes reports, 86% of South Koreans see climate change as the foremost global threat (even ahead of its geopolitical tensions with North Korea). Environmental campaigners have been cautiously welcoming of the Green Deal, though they say it is short on detail, and lacks a plan to phase out internal combustion engines.