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Korea to go in full force for 2050 carbon neutrality

Customers must pay deposit for disposable cups at coffee or fast food franchises starting in June

From June 10, customers who wish to use disposable cups at coffee or fast food franchises will have to pay a deposit. (Yonhap)
From June 10, customers who wish to use disposable cups at coffee or fast food franchises will have to pay a deposit. (Yonhap)
The Ministry of Environment will evaluate the environmental impact of major government policies and projects beginning in September as part of its road map to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

According to the plans revealed Tuesday, the ministry will also monitor the state budget and funds to ensure they contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases starting in 2023.

For private businesses, the ministry will strengthen related regulations to encourage the use of renewable energy.

Also, the ministry plans to stress the participation of individuals. It will launch a “carbon neutrality action point” system, providing incentives through cash or credit card points to individuals based on their participation to help reach the net-zero emission goal.

From June 10, customers who wish to use disposable cups at coffee or fast food franchises will have to pay a 200 to 500 won (16 to 41 cents) deposit. They can have the deposit back when they return the cup to the stores.

Small businesses, including convenience stores and bakeries, will not be allowed to use disposable plastic bags from Nov. 24. Coffee shops will not be allowed to use disposable paper cups.

The ministry will also evaluate the effects of its fine dust management program that kicked off in December. It will also set up an artificial intelligence system for fine dust forecasting by November.

The government also seeks to nearly double the number of electric and hydrogen cars in use to around 500,000 units in 2022, from the current 248,000 units.

New cars purchased for the public sector must be environmentally friendly vehicles.

“This is the first year of executing policies for the net-zero emissions goal by 2050,” said Kim Beob-jeong, director of climate carbon policy department at the ministry.

“The government will do everything it can to help the economy and society to transition to carbon neutrality,” Kim said.



By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)
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