Korea’s Pathway to a Green Economy
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Republic of Korea in August 2008, the Korean government announced a “low-carbon, green growth” strategy as a new vision to guide the nation’s long-term development.
See Korea's Country Study Summary
In January 2009, the Government of the Republic of Korea responded to the deepening recession with a Green New Deal, a fiscal stimulus package equivalent to US$ 38.1 billion of which 80% was allocated to more efficient use of resources such as fresh-water, waste, energy-efficient buildings, renewable energies, low-carbon vehicles, and the rail network. In July 2009, the country adopted a Five-Year Plan forGreen Growth (2009-2013), committing 2% of its GDP for investment in several green sectors such as renewable energies, energy efficiency, clean technologies and water.
Doubling the generation of energy from renewable sources and enhancing resource and material efficiency, this five-year plan is expected to stimulate production in the amount of US$ 141-160 billion and to create 1.56- 1.81 million jobs in green industries, while contributing to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gases.
Beyond its policies at the national level, the Republic of Korea is demonstrating engagement and leadership at the international level by boosting global efforts towards achieving a green economy. The Republic of Korea was instrumental in the adoption of a Declaration on Green Growth by the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting of 25 June 2009. Korea is also playing a key role in promoting an East Asia Climate Partnership.
Green Economy Success Story
The case of Waste Management in South Korea
Waste management and recycling in the Republic of Korea’s has not reduced waste generation, but has encouraged reusing waste as an energy resource. Over the past years, targeted policies have significantly increased the recycling rate while creating thousands of jobs in an endeavour to build a Resource Recirculation Society.
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Partnership with UNEP on Green Economy
At the request of the Korean Government, UNEP produced an Overview Report on the Republic of Korea’s National Strategy for Green Growth. The report presents an overview of the new strategy for
green growth and discusses the plans that the country has put in place to achieve this vision.
More generally, UNEP and the Republic of Korea are collaborating to support initiatives on green economy in developing countries.
Other UNEP related initiatives
The Korea Group consists of all UNEP FI members based in South Korea. The Group provides a forum for South Korean members to work together and address some country-specific sustainability priorities and gaps. It also serves to reach out to non-member financial institutions in South Korea.
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What Korean Leaders have said about the Green Economy
Republic of Korea President, H.E. Lee Myung-Bak:
“The underlying objective of the Low Carbon Green Growth strategy is to promote sustainable development, by putting in place a positive cycle in which the environment revives the economy and the economy preserves the environment.” Address by H.E. Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, at the 64th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, (September 2009).
For the full speech, please click here.