As the global economy faces the withering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a big chance forthe government to support the advocacy for a green-led recovery. This includes putting enough budget to spend for fiscal stimulus on renewable energy and other important things such as clean technologies to create jobs while still addressing the issue of climate change.
The ensemble calling for such a move is solid and different: investors, climate advocates, banks, energy companies, scholastics, climate promoters, and advocates, and government officials.
Sadly, several national governments haven’t responded to the calls, and that includes Australia.
But still, a few countries, for instance, South Korea, are utilizing the crisis to relaunch environmentally sustainable economic growth. Actually, there are a lot of things and smart strategies that Australia can learn from Asian neighbors.
Ascending from a COVID battering
Similar to the situation of other countries across the globe, South Korea’s economy has been badly affected due to this pandemic. Specifically, its fare ventures dropped by 24 percent in May as interest for the country’s pillar items, for example, vehicles, semiconductors, hardware, petrochemicals, and steel, went down.
Apparently, a sum up of 26.93 million Koreans were employed in April – stating that it’s a lesser of about 392,000 than earlier last year. Job highest rate of loss was identified in the accommodation and food services, wholesale and retail sectors
In July, South Korean President Moon Jae-in established the Korean New Deal also known as “K-New Deal” as an immediate answer. A total amount of US$135 billion is the budget they’ve put to investment in green and digital technology that includes
- A total amount of US$96.3 billion from the Treasury
- A total amount of US$21.2 billion from local governments
- A total amount of US$17.3 billion from the private sector.
Not to feel any confusion with the proposed name of the same with the US’ proposed package of climate policies, the “green” portion of the plan is referred to as the Green New Deal. A sum of US$61.9 billion is the budget invested for the Korean green plan The goal is to create 319,000 jobs by the year 2022 and 659,000 by 2025.
To make sure that the private sector fulfills its commitments and to monitor and check the performance of the government ministers, President Moon will be the one leading a monthly strategy meeting focused on the K-New Deal.
What the green recovery seemingly like
Putting investments in advanced technology initiatives in creating jobs is one of the goals of the Green New Deal.
Moreover, to expand the solar panels wind turbines to 42.7 gigawatts in 2025, increased from 12.7 gigawatts last year is part of the plan calls of the said project. Also, there will be an installation of solar panels on 225, 000 public buildings.
“Smart grids” is a digital technology and said as the core of the plan that enables an energy utility to converse with and reply to its customers and vice-versa. To lend help to the consumers in reducing the price of electricity they’re using, installing of the “smart meter” for five million more apartments is one of the Korean plans.
Likewise, the government will also put investment into the microgrid communities. This project includes the use of renewable energy and energy storage systems in part of the regional areas, and those sections of the country that are already islands, to establish decentralized, low-carbon energy systems.
The Green New Deal’s another target by the year of 2025, is to establish around 1.13 million of electrical vehicles as well as to build a total of 200,000 hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicles that will be seen on the Korean roads. This will create a domestic market for Korean car manufacturers like Hyundai.
Furthermore, the government also allotted a budget to spend on building electric vehicle recharging stations (15,000 rapid and 30,000 standards). Around 450 hydrogen refueling units are said to be built, which will be beneficial for homegrown firms like EM Korea.
Reducing and recycling energy through the use of advanced computerized power grids in factories is an additional economic initiative of the government.
Likewise, they also include the use of technology to seize and store carbon released from industrial processes and once again to re-use the industrial materials.
Green New Deal is more grey than green?
A lot of critics have cast the K-New Deal as more of grey rather than green. For instance, they assert that while the very dirty fossil fuels including coal, have been phasing out, they’ve been substituted with ‘cleaner’ fossil fuels including liquified natural gas, or LNG.
This LNG will be utilized to supply baseload power, but it is only planned as a “bridging fuel”. Significantly, in contrast with Australia, the South Korean government has been setting for an end date to the usage of fossil fuels, targeting zero net emissions by the year 2050. Korea is already ahead towards meeting its renewable targets of 20% by 2030 and 30-35% by 2040.