Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Wednesday the capital city will implement policies in four sectors, ranging from buildings to public transport, to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 while promoting the green industry and generating jobs.
Stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic offers the last chance to go carbon-free, Park said tackling the climate crisis is the direction humanity must take for the future.
“The way of running a city should transition to a carbon-free system, and we should promote sustainable industry free from carbon emissions and create jobs,” Park said during his presentation on climate change on Wednesday.
“This is key to making a livable city for the socially marginalized,” he said, adding a transition to a net-zero city is a must to tackle social inequality.
According to the plans put forward by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, it will promote energy efficiency by tightening regulations on carbon emissions for public buildings and renovating them to improve energy efficiency.
The city government will focus on making the city more pedestrian-friendly by expanding spaces for those on foot and increasing the number of public bicycles to 40,000 by 2022. All vehicles owned by city-run agencies will go electronic or run on hydrogen by 2025.
Some 30 million more trees will be planted by 2020.
The plan comes in line with the “Korean New Deal” project, an initiative to drive the post-pandemic economic recovery by creating new growth engines and jobs. Its major goals include expanding renewable energy production, reducing carbon emissions and promoting “green companies” developing and selling environmental technologies.
Park’s speech came on the third day of a five-day online global summit -- the Cities Against COVID-19 Global Summit 2020 -- which the Seoul Metropolitan Government is hosting via videoconference from Monday through Friday in preparation for the post-coronavirus era.
The online summit, with more than 100 officials, experts and scholars taking part, is being livestreamed through the Seoul City government’s YouTube channels as well as Arirang TV, with simultaneous interpretation available between English and Korean.
More information about the summit -- from how to participate to detailed programs -- is available in Korean and English at www.cac2020.or.kr. The Seoul City government’s know-how in combating the COVID-19 pandemic is available at english.seoul.go.kr/covid.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org