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Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

South Korea to scrap coal and nuclear power

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Greenpeace's EnergyDesk reports that the new President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, has commited South Koare to phasing out all coal and nuclear power stations.

This suggests a major change in the country's energy policy and a new internatinoal commitment to move away from coal since Trump pulled America out of the Paris climate agreement. 

Moon made a speech at a ceremony which shut down the country's oldest coal station, in which he promised to:

  • scrap existing plans for new nuclear plants
  • not extend the life of existing ones,
  • shut down 10 old coal power plants and
  • cancel new coal projects.

Moon noted that so far the country's energy policy has focused on low prices and efficiency but that this should change, the priority now being on public safety and the environment. 

South Korea is one of the top producers of nuclear power in the world and was looking to export its expertise and technology.

But air pollution has recently risen up the political agenda, as South Korean was at risk of becoming one of the more polluted countries in the world. 

Back in January 2017, a study from researchers at Harvard University and Greenpeace International said approximately 50,000 lives a year could be saved by 2030 if no new coal-fired power plants are built in Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

At a recent meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Moon recently  suggested a 20% renewable energy target by 2030 and says South Korean will actively share their experience in building renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly energy towns with other AIIB countries 

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