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Third OECD Review of Korea’s Environmental Performance was published

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▷ OECD published a report on Korea’s environmental policies and accomplishments from 2006 to 2016.

▷ The reviews point out Korea’s leading environmental policies such as waste management, expanded water supply and sewage facilities and integrated environmental permits.

▷ It also recommends that Korea needs to expand the coverage of the Environmental Impact Assessment, strengthen public participation and expand the supply of eco-friendly energy.  

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will publish the "3rd OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Korea 2017" on March 16 at the headquarters in Paris, France.

OECD has been conducted periodic assessment on environmental performance of its member states to improve the quality of environmental policies and build trust among members.

This Third OECD Environmental Performance Review of Korea provides assessment on Korea's progress in achieving its environmental policy objectives for the past decade from 2006 to 2016.

The assessment and recommendations are presented on the following areas; 1) environmental performance: trends and recent developments; 2) environmental governance and management; 3) towards green growth; 4) waste and materials management; and 5) environmental justice.

The key findings of the report are as follows:
1) Environmental performance: trends and recent developments
Major achievements have been made over the past decade. For instance, materials recovery rose to 59% (compared to the OECD average of 34%) and over 60 endangered species have been successfully restored. However, in light of Korea's high dependence on fossil fuel energy (82% of the total primary energy supply), the greenhouse gas emissions jumped by 2.38 times in 2013 compared to 1990, which is the highest increase in the OECD after Turkey.

2) Environmental governance and management
Significant progress has been made in environmental governance and management such as more stringent standards for air and water quality as well as the introduction of integrated permit system. The review recommends that the Korean government needs to expand the coverage of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and raise monetary penalties for illegal pollutant emissions.

3) Towards green growth
The reviews speak highly of Korea's greening efforts including the introduction of the world's second largest emissions trading scheme, leading Green Public Procurement (the amount of green public procurement reached KRW 2.4 trillion as of 2015) and green cards that have been issued for and used by over 10 million card holders. Yet, the report points out that Korea needs to increase the ratio of renewable energy (1.5% of the total primary energy consumption) to expand supply of green energy, and readjust subsidies of fossil fuel.

4) Waste and materials management
As the leading country in integrated waste management policies, more than 80% of the waste generated is recovered and the material productivity has increased by 34%. The report recommends that Korea should gather information on the flow of waste and materials in the society to move towards the circular economy.

5) Environmental Justice
Overall, the access to environmental service has improved as the environmental damage compensation system has been strengthened and the water supply and sewage facilities have been expanded. The reviews recommend that Korea needs to conduct wider analysis on environmental health-related issues, strengthen public participation and improve access to information.

The "3rd OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Korea 2017" can be downloaded at the website (  

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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