South Korea aims to reduce fine dust by 30% by 2022

Sep 27, 2017, 08:50 am

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By AsiaToday reporter Cho Sang-eun

The South Korean government Tuesday announced a set of heavy measures aimed to reduce fine dust emissions by 30% by 2022, such as shutting down seven coal-fired plants aged 30 years or over.

The government plans to adopt a two-track approach to achieve short- and long-term goals.

For the short-term goals, the government will carry out emergency measures to reduce the high concentration of fine dust in the country and tighten control standards.

To this end, the government will temporarily shut down five old coal-fired plants in spring (March to June), when fine dust concentration is relatively higher than other seasons.

The government will toughen its environmental standards on fine dust like advanced countries, such as the United States and Japan. It will also set a new standard for indoor air for schools and nursery schools.

The key to mid- to long-term goals is to reduce domestic fine dust emissions by 30% by the end of President Moon Jae-in's term in 2022.

To achieve this, 4 out of nine coal-fired plants with low process rates will be subject to negotiations for eco-friendly fuel conversion. The remaining five plants will be under the highest level of environmental control.

Above all, seven coal-fired plants, aged 30 years or over, will be shut down within the current administration.
The emission standard will be strengthened for 39 out of 61 coal-fired plants currently in operation. The government plans to increase the ration of renewable energy to 20 percent by 2030.

Besides, the government will ban aged diesel vehicles registered before 2005, which account for 77% of total diesel vehicles in the country, within the current administration. By 2022, it plans to supply 2 million units of eco-friendly vehicles, including electric and hydrogen cars, and 10,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

The government plans to move fine dust up the agenda of Seoul-Beijing summit, and announce a joint declaration on the willingness of cooperation between the two countries.

The government plans to invest about 7.2 trillion won (US$6.3 billion) for the comprehensive plan by 2022.

Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung said, "If we concentrate to reduce four core fine dust emitters in power generation, industries, transportation and the life sectors, we will be able to reduce the amount of fine dust by 31.9% by 2022." The government hopes that the number of days with the average particulate matter concentration at more than 50 micrometers per square meter, categorized as "bad", will decrease by 180 days by 2022.

#South Korea #Moon Jae-in administration #fine dust #air pollution 
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