[탄소제로 광폭행보] Presenting 40% GHG reduction target… Growing industry concerns

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Presidential Carbon Neutrality Committee Advocating for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and ‘zero’ carbon emissions by 2050
Economic groups such as the Korea Economic Daily also expressed concern that it will have a big impact on various industries such as semiconductors, steel, and automobiles.

At the ‘Carbon Neutral Industrial Transformation Strategy Forum’ held at the EC Room of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on October 28, Joo Young-joon, head of the Industrial Policy Office of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and industry, academia, and research experts are taking a commemorative photo. [사진=산업통상자원부 제공]

There is great concern in the industry over the recent government-determined ‘2030 National Greenhouse Gas Reduction Target (NDC)’ upgrade plan. At the Cabinet meeting on the 27th, the plan to reduce carbon emissions by 40% compared to 2018 by 2030 was deliberated and confirmed.

Accordingly, the industry as a whole must reduce the use of cheap fossil fuels and increase the proportion of new and renewable energy in order to reduce carbon emissions. The problem is that in this process, it is necessary to unconditionally use a lot of new and renewable energy, which has a high average power generation cost. From the point of view of a company, it is affected by price competitiveness in the manufacturing process of a product.

First, the industrial sector must change the steel industry process, and the petrochemical industry must change raw materials. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14.5% in 2030 compared to 2018. The building sector plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32.8% in 2030 compared to 2018 by activating energy-saving buildings and distributing energy-efficient devices.

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The industry is on the verge of a strong drive in carbon emissions. The Korea Employers’ Federation (KEF) said, “It is regrettable that the 2030 national greenhouse gas reduction target and the 2050 carbon-neutral scenario were deliberated and confirmed at the Cabinet meeting on the 27th.

“The government and the Carbon Neutrality Committee have expressed their concerns several times about unilaterally deciding on a carbon-neutral policy, including raising the reduction target, without considering the current situation in our country,” the KEF added.

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry also commented, “Considering the domestic reality, where the manufacturing industry is high and product exports support the economy, the future journey to reduce carbon and achieve net zero will be a great challenge and burden not only for companies but also for the lives of the people. He urged the government to come up with comprehensive support measures as soon as possible in relation to the huge cost required for the development and commercialization of innovative technologies related to carbon reduction.

Some even mentioned the necessity of nuclear power as an alternative to maintaining economic feasibility in the carbon-neutral process. Roh Noh-seok, a research fellow at the Seoul National University Atomic Energy Policy Center, who attended the ‘Reasonable Energy Policy Direction for 2050 Carbon Neutrality’ seminar held on the 27th said, “Major countries such as the United States, France, and Japan plan to use nuclear power as an important means of carbon neutrality in the power generation sector.” “The possibility of a carbon-neutral discussion excluding nuclear power plants is slim, so a full reconsideration of the energy mix policy is necessary,” he said.

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However, the government was not alone in seeing the concerns of the industry. On the 28th, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy launched the ‘Carbon-neutral Industrial Transformation Strategy Forum’ jointly with the Korea Institute of Industry and Commerce. This is to in-depth analysis of the impact of carbon neutrality on our industry and to come up with a strategy to effectively and quickly transition to a low-carbon industrial structure while maintaining manufacturing competitiveness.

© ‘Global Economic Daily in 5 Languages’ Aju Economic Daily. Unauthorized reproduction and redistribution prohibited

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