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Korea's bumpy road to green energy

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By John Burton

Korea faces a difficult challenge in meeting its ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which it promised in relation to this month's holding of the 26th U.N. Climate Change conference, COP 26.

President Moon Jae-in announced that Korea, the world's seventh biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, would set a more stringent target by cutting its emissions by 40 percent from 2018 levels by 2030, and that the country would be carbon-neutral by 2050, a pledge that was enshrined in law in September.

In addition, Korea was among 100 countries that said they would cut their methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. It was also among 40 countries that pledged to end their use of coal for electricity generation by 2050 ― a big concession since the country is a major consumer of coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels.

Environmental groups say that the targets will have to be raised even further if Korea is to meet its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, which aims to limit global warming to within 1.5 degrees higher than pre-industrial average levels.

Fossil fuels now account for two-thirds of Korea's electricity production. Under the current plans, Korea wants to reduce coal power generation from 42 percent of its energy mix to 22 percent by 2030, while increasing........

© The Korea Times

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