Jung-hoon Kim, Pohang Iron and Steel Company, South Korea
Jung-hoon Kim, Pohang Iron and Steel Company, South Korea

Jung-hoon Kim, an employee of Pohang Iron and Steel Company (POSCO), South Korea offers his opinions on climate change and global warming.

1. How is South Korea influenced by the climate change?

Climate change influences almost every country around the world, and South Korea is no exception. Climate change, which is originates from global warming, has a huge impact on weather and our daily lives. This year, during South Korea’s rainy season, rain patterns have changed (with an uncharacteristic mix of downpours  and sunshine).

In addition, our winter is getting shorter, while the summer is getting longer. Looking at all these factors, I could say that these are some of the symptoms of climate change. The damage to our farms are accelerating each year because of these factors.

2. How much are South Korean companies, the government and individuals, prepared to cope with climate change?

The South Korean government has planned and executed three 3-year plans between 1999 and 2007, and based on this, established the ‘Task Force on Climate Change’ in 2001.

In addition, President Lee presented a 5–year (2008-2012) synthetic counter plan to climate change,  which emphasizes ”low carbon green growth.” The plan also establishes a Task Force on Climate Change, which has published ‘Comprehensive Plan on Combating Climate Change(CPCCC)’. The report recommends activities to reduced carbon in our daily lives, as well as outlines the use of carbon mileage, carbon points.

Major companies are also successively announcing their plans against climate change. For example, POSCO, the biggest steel company in South Korea is making efforts to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by use photovoltaic power generators and creating a Clean Development Mechanism plan.

3. What are the plans or goals of the South Korean government, post-Kyoto?

South Korea, which was exempt from compliance with emission limitation under Kyoto Protocol, will certainly be involved in climate change talks post-Kyoto. South Korea’s carbon dioxide emissions are the 10th highest in the world and is growing at the fast rate amongst OECD countries.

The South Korean government recently took action on ‘Fundamental Law on Low Carbon Green Growth,’ including the limiting the total amount of emissions, starting an emission trading program, imposing a carbon tax, charge congestion fees, and more.

In addition, South Korea will prepare for post-Kyoto in various ways. South Korea’s plan and goal on climate change is to become voluntarily a carbon reducing country.

* Picture of smog in Seoul: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nagy/4336948/

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