South Korea Revises 2030 Target For Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Credit: christian-lue-unsplash

South Korea revised its 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emissions April 11 under which major polluters of energy-intensive manufacturers, such as oil refiners, chemical companies and steelmakers, are given reduced burdens on the back of a bigger role of nuclear to power Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, reports SP Global.

About the plan

The final version adjusted targets for two sectors — lowering the target for the industrial sector while raising the target for the power production sector, with the country’s total reduction target kept unchanged at 436.6 million mt of CO2 equivalent by 2030, or 40% from 2018 levels.

Under the plan, industries will be allowed to emit 230.7 million mt in 2030, more than 222.6 million mt set previously in the nationally determined contributions target unveiled in October 2021. It marks an 11.4% reduction from 260.5 million mt that the industrial sector emitted in 2018, compared with a 14.5% cut seen in the 2021 target.

The Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth that mapped the target cited “difficulties in the supply of raw materials and technology prospects” as a reason for easing burdens for industries.

In contrast, the emissions target for the country’s electricity production sector has been tightened to emit 145.9 million mt in 2030 from 149.9 million mt in the 2021 plan. It marks a 45.9% reduction from 269.6 million in 2018, up from 44.4% in the 2021 target.
The final plan also calls for the transport sector to reduce emissions to 61 million mt by 2030, unchanged from the 2021 target, which is a 37.8% reduction from 98.1 million mt in 2018.

To meet the tougher target for the power production sector by 2030, the government will increase electricity generation from nuclear power plants and reduce coal-based power production.

“We will accelerate the conversion of clean energy by reducing coal power generation and expanding the generation of nuclear power plants and renewable energy,” the commission said.

Carbon capture

The country will also expand carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS, to help meet its 2030 target. It plans to secure spaces to capture and store 1 billion mt of CO2 by 2030.
The revised emission target comes under South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-yeol who took office in May last year with a pledge of reviving the nuclear power sector by reversing his predecessor’s nuclear phase-out policy and supporting the country’s major manufacturers.

Under Yoon’s push, South Korea plans to boost the portion of nuclear in its power mix to 32.4% in 2030 and further to 34.6% in 2036, compared with 27.4% in 2021 and 23.4% in 2018.

Renewable sources will be responsible for 30.6% of power generation in 2036 after 21.6% in 2030, rising from 7.5% in 2021 and 6.2% in 2018.

On the contrary, the share of coal in power production would be lowered to 19.7% in 2030 and 14.4% in 3036, from 34.3% in 2021 and 41.9% in 2018. Additionally, LNG’s share in power would be cut to 22.9% in 2030 and to just 9.3% in 2036, compared with 29.2% in 2021 and 26.8% in 2018.

“South Korea will actively use renewable energy sources and nuclear power plants and come up with a feasible and balanced energy mix amid the country’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a separate statement.

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Source: SP Global


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