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S. Korea president sets green agenda in official address

Korea is virtually 100% dependent on imports to meet its energy needs. STOCKXPERT

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said last week that the solution to serious global warming is the adoption of innovative technologies, “including new and renewable energy and electric-powered vehicles.”

In his radio and internet address to the nation last August 10, where he expressed his environment agenda for the country influenced by the recent G8 Summit held in Italy earlier last month, he expressed how serious global warming is and the consequence of greenhouse gas emissions globally.

Lee said the solution demands tremendous investments in what he views as both a crisis and an opportunity to help create viable markets.

Lee pointed out that countries that are reluctant to take steps in controlling emissions are bound to lose their export markets. Lee said South Korea must not stand “idly” and instead take immediate steps in this field. He welcomed South Korea’s selection as the leading nation in the development of smart grids in the recent G8.

Among Lee’s main points in the address was the significance of “green lifestyles”—something that “can be practiced by anyone right away, even from today.” He sees energy efficiency as the “fifth energy” that can cut global emissions of greenhouse gases by one third.

“Korea is virtually 100% dependent on imports to meet its energy needs. A 10% drop in total energy imports would help the nation save more than 10 trillion won (US $8 billion) annually. However, my perception of saving is not just confined to the economic front. To my way of thinking, saving is the most humanitarian act of taking into consideration the well-being of all our neighbours,” Lee said, as he requested the public to use public transportation and bicycles more often instead of private cars.

President Lee is seeking public opinion on the country’s future plans towards its low-carbon economy drive. “I am convinced that my fellow Koreans have sufficient green potential,” Lee said.

-   Oliver M. Bayani

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