Seoul City vows to slash emissions

Seoul City vows to slash emissions

The Seoul Metropolitan Government vowed on Monday to reduce CO2 emissions by 10 million tons by 2020.

Its plan consists in engaging 10 million Seoul citizens to take individual actions, including purchasing "green electricity" ― solar and wind power ― recycling and taking public transport.

"If a single Seoul citizen can reduce 1 ton of CO2, together we can reduce 10 million tons of CO2 emissions," said Yoon Young-cheol from the city government in a statement.

A report last year from the International Panel on Climate Change recommended that Asia, including South Korea, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 to 50 per cent by 2050 to prevent climate change disasters.

In its efforts to respond to climate change and energy crises in the aftermath of Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident, the Seoul government in 2012 launched its flagship energy policy: "One Less Nuclear Power Plant."

The plan aims to cut energy consumption by the equivalent of 2 million tons of oil ― the annual capacity of a nuclear power plant.

Through the policy, the city reduced its CO2 emissions by 5.63 million tons between 2012 and 2014, mostly by engaging its citizens in energy-saving practices ― such as switching to LED lights.

An LED lamp is several times more electrically efficient than an incandescent lamp.

Aside from switching to LED lights and taking public transport, the city government encourages its citizens to reduce their food waste by 30 per cent, use energy- and water-efficient appliances, and make their homes energy-efficient by being sensible about energy use.

South Korea is one of the world's top 15 greenhouse gas emitters. In 2009, the central government announced it would reduce its greenhouse emissions by 4 per cent by 2020.

The Seoul City government is to unveil detailed plans to reduce CO2 emissions at the World Congress of the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability in April.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.seoul.go.kr.

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