In a massive effort to fight climate change, the Asian powerhouses Japan and South Korea have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050.
South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in recently announced that the nation would eliminate its dependence on coal and replace it with renewable sources of energy as part of the Green New Deal, which is a multibillion dollar initiative to fight global warming by investing in green initiatives such as clean energy and electric vehicles. This initiative also seeks to create urban forests and low-carbon energy industrial complexes, among a host of other measures.
“The government has pushed for strong policy to shift energy [sources] so far, but we still need to improve many things. We will go toward carbon neutral by 2050, taking action on climate change,” Moon said in a speech to the National Assembly. “We will replace coal power with renewable energy, creating new markets and industries as well as jobs.”
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga also said that the world’s third biggest economy will become carbon neutral by 2050. However, he did not give any details of how the nation would reach this ambitious goal. Currently, Japan is the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouses gases in the world.
“Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth,” Suga said.
“We need to change our thinking to the view that taking assertive measures against climate change will lead to changes in industrial structure and the economy that will bring about growth.”
South Korea and Japan are among a host of other nations that have pledged to become carbon neutral in the near future. Last year, the European Union also vowed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The decision of the two governments was praised by environmental groups.