It’s Tuesday, April 21, and South Korea is poised to implement a Green New Deal.
South Korea’s left-leaning Democratic Party won the country’s parliamentary elections in a landslide last week, paving the way for President Moon Jae-in to push forward his plan for a Green New Deal.
The Democratic Party won 180 of 300 seats in South Korea’s National Assembly, securing the largest majority in three decades. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the election proceeded smoothly; voters were required to wear masks and use disposable plastic gloves within voting booths. Voters in quarantine were given access to the polls after they closed to the general public, and hospitalized voters were allowed to vote by mail.
Last month, President Moon and the Democratic Party put forward a plan for a Green New Deal that would require South Korea to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The country is the seventh-largest global carbon emitter, with coal representing about 40 percent of its national energy mix. The legislation would involve a massive increase in funding for renewable energy, a carbon tax, and an end to investments in coal.
The election results provide a mandate for a strong climate plan, but the government has a long road ahead. South Korea’s current climate target only pledges to cut emissions 37 percent from business-as-usual levels by 2030.
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