South Korea announced it's investing $61 billion by 2025 to become a "net-zero society," according to a statement from the country's Ministry of Environment, reports a local news source.
South Korea pledges $61 billion for 'net-zero society'
As part of the South Korean New Deal, this "green" policy is the Asian country's response to the rising tide of climate change, while also boosting its economy — hit hard by the COVID-19 coronavirus — in hopes of achieving what trade ministries have called a "net-zero society."
"Now is the most appropriate time to speed up to become a carbon net-zero society," said a South Korean government official, Arirang News Center reports. "The Green New Deal aims to overcome both the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 and the climate and environmental crises that caused the pandemic."
The five-year, 61-billion-dollar (U.S.) initiative calls for the construction of zero-energy public facilities, many of which will be remodeled with eco-friendly materials. This move is expected to create 660,000 new jobs, in addition to reducing greenhouse gases by 12 million tons over the next five years.
Eco-friendly schools, 'green' infrastructure
The government will also spearhead a country-wide public education upgrade to offer eco-friendly schools. Schools will receive roughly 240,000 Tablet computers, with WiFi installed in all elementary, middle- and high schools throughout South Korea by 2022.
The South Korean government also aims to adopt green technology for city infrastructure and buildings. Once completed, South Korea should have 25 "smart green cities."
South Korea pivots to solar, wind, hydrogen power
If and when the country reaches its goal, energy will shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources, including solar, wind, and hydrogen power.
"Despite the global car market taking a hit from COVID-19, Korea's electric car sales in the first half of 2020 rose by 80%, the government will put its utmost efforts into making our eco-friendly car industry the global leader," said a government official, Arirang reports.
Eco-friendly mobility, 200,000 hydrogen vehicles
Mobility will also adapt, as eco-friendly transportation — with more than 1 million electric cars available — will come to replace cars running on ordinary gas. South Korea will reportedly supply 200,000 hydrogen vehicles, instead of a charging a tariff across the nation.
"The Green New Deal will be a stepping stone for [our] nation to become a global pace-setter in [the] net-zero economy," said the South Korean government, reports Arirang News Center.
The South Korean government will also create 10 "smart green" industrial complexes, with more than 1,700 "green factories." As the world braces for the full onslaught of global climate change, South Korea is joining major worldwide economies already working to recover from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.