□ On the 4th, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) reported the 2013 Work Plan at the Sejong Government Complex.
○ MOE reported a plan to successfully implement the national agenda (10 items under the jurisdiction of MOE) and to create a pleasant and sustainable environment.
○ A detailed roadmap was released regarding the top 3 strategic goals: ① Creating a safe living environment, ② Providing environmental services on a par with the level of the advanced countries, ③ Completing the shift to a sustainable development paradigm.
□ MOE also pledged to support the realization of Government 3.0 where bureaucracy will be minimized to better meet the needs of the public and boost national competitiveness.
○ In particular, MOE promised to cooperate with other ministries and establish a governance structure with the civil society to produce tangible results in managing land and water resources, tackling climate change, and conserving the natural ecosystem.
1. Protect our citizens and the environment from toxic chemical leaks
□ Drawing lessons from the recent chemical accidents, MOE will focus on policies to protect our citizens and the environment from toxic chemical leaks.
○ First of all, MOE will draft a plan to adopt Off-site Consequcne Analysis* to prevent toxic chemical accidents in advance.
* A system in which the negative impact of a possible chemical substance leakage or explosion is evaluated to safely design and build the facilities from the beginning.
- Once this system is launched, chemical accidents can be prevented in advance or immediately managed if an accident occurs.
○ In addition, an offender restitution policy* and a three-strike policy** will be introduced since the recent chemical accidents and the clumsy responses in the aftermath were largely due to the management’s insensitivity to public safety.
* The offender(polluter) will be obliged to pay for the damages in case a chemical accident occurs. (If the damage amount exceeds an individual’s capacity to pay, the remaining will be covered by insurance. If the polluter is unidentifiable, non-existent, or incapable, a relief fund will cover the damages.)
** The operating license will be revoked if a firm is responsible for three consecutive chemical accidents within a certain period .
- As firms bear the responsibility of paying the damages for environmental pollution accidents, the management will have no choice but to strictly manage the chemical substances.
○ A special law will be enacted some time this year to introduce the aforementioned policies.
□ The Ministry will expand the list of potentially harmful substances subject to inspection to include not only new chemical substances but also those substances already distributed in the market. Those substances confirmed to be harmful will be restricted or banned from use.
○ List of existing chemical substances subject to inspection will be expanded from the current 15 substances to include some 300 substances from 2015. In particular, regulations regarding consumer chemical products such as humidifier sterilizers will be strengthened by putting in place content standards and labeling regulations.
○ The Ministry will put forth a multilateral effort into passing the “Act Concerning Registration, Evaluation, Etc. of Chemical Substances” in the National Assembly and enacting it by September 2013.
□ To protect the water supplies from toxic green algae, the Ministry will take preemptive measures including sounding early algae warnings and managing advanced water treatment plants.
○ In case of algae blooms, MOE will consult with relevant ministries to consider discharging water from the upper streams.
2. Provide satisfactory environmental services to residents in both the rural and urban regions.
□ The Ministry will close the environmental service gap in the rural regions so that rural residents will have access to the environmental services enjoyed by the urban dwellers.
○ To this end, the Ministry plans to expand the water supply in the rural regions. (Increase the penetration rate from 58.8% in 2011 to 80% in 2017)
○ In areas without access to water supplies, ground water quality inspections will be carried out for free to reassure the local residents of safe drinking water.
□ For urban dwellers, the Ministry will provide pleasant places for relaxation and tackle the air quality problem by coming up with measures against ultrafine particles.
○ Idle land in the metropolitan area will be revamped to ecological resting areas so that the urban dwellers can enjoy nature close at hand,
- First of all, construction of 3 ‘Nature gardens’ will begin in the early half of this year by utilizing idle or damaged areas in cities such as Seoul and Busan. A total of 20 nature gardens will be established by 2017.
- To enhance the ecological functions of the urban parks, 13 ‘Urban micro-ecosystems’ will be designated.
○ Ultrafine particle warning system* will be launched to provide ‘Weather & Air quality information“ so that the public can plan their outdoor activities. In addition, the Ministry will focus on enhancing the environmental welfare of children and the senior citizens whose health may be particularly susceptible to the weather conditions.
* (Ultrafine particle warning system) A pilot system for ultrafine particle(PM10) warnings will be launched in 2013 for the metropolitan region. From 2014, the system will cover the entire country providing warnings on various pollutants including PM2.5 and ozone level.
- To reduce Nitrogen Oxide(NOx) and Surfur Oxide(SOx) that are known to cause PM2.5*, the Ministry will gradually implement reduction measures. In particular, the emission standard (NOx 80%↑) for diesel cars will be strengthened from 2014 while the emission standard(SOx 25%, NOx 20%) for large-scale businesses including power plants will become stricter from 2015.
* (PM2.5) Dust particles in the atmosphere with diameters less than 2.5㎛, 1/30 the size of a strand of hair(approximately 50~70㎛). (1 m = 106 ㎛)
3. Promote a circular economy that reuses resources and energy
□ To realize a circular economy where resource and energy usage create a virtuous cycle, the Ministry will focus on “Minimization of landfill waste“ while adopting a ”Waste disposal charging system“ based on the market mechanism from 2015.
○ Imposing high waste disposal charges that exceed the recycling costs will result in increased recycling rate and reduced amount of unprocessed waste discharged in landfills.
- Through these measures, the Ministry expects to realize economic benefits such as reduced dependency on foreign resources while protecting the public from environmental pollution by safely processing hazardous wastes.
- In fact, countries that have prohibited direct discharging of unprocessed waste and adopted waste disposal charging systems including Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands saw their waste landfill rates drop to less than 1%.
※ Waste landfill rates of Austria and Denmark (banned direct disposal and imposed waste disposal charges) stand at 3%
○ The Ministry seeks efficient utilization of land and resources by reducing the domestic waste landfill rate from 17%(projected) in 2013 to 5% in 2017.
- If the landfill rate is reduced to 5% by 2017, the accumulated reduction amount will reach 5.48 million ton while the landfill area will be reduced by 0.51㎡.
Amount of landfill
3.04 million ton (17%)
0.89 million ton (5%)
5.48 million ton
□ Also, resource circulation rate will be imposed and managed for each sector and industry to increase the usage of recycled resources or waste resources in the initial input stage of resource and energy.
○ To implement this policy, thorough preparation including the basic unit calculation is necessary in advance. In addition, a T/F team composed of relevant stakeholders and statisticians will conduct in-depth discussions.
□ To implement the aforementioned systems and policies, the ’Circular Economy Promotion Law’ will be proposed to the National Assembly in the course of this year.
4. Introduce a new permit system for the installation of pollutant discharging facilities to protect the environment and create jobs
□ Indefinite permit system of discharging facilities based on acceptable concentration level has been maintained since its introduction in the 1970s. Now, the government plans to shift to a new re-permit system based on Best Available Technology (BAT).
* BAT : The best available technology that makes economic sense while minimizing the burden on the environment
○ Under the existing permit system, operation of the discharging facility was permitted indefinitely once the acceptable concentration level was met making it difficult to cope with the changing circumstances such as technological advancement or the discovery of a new pollutant.
○ With the introduction of the new permit system, approximately KRW 760 billion worth of annual facility investment and creation of 13,800 jobs are expected. Meanwhile, by promoting the development of advanced technology and applying these technologies in the field, the Ministry plans to nurture highly competitive industries that drive the nation’s exports.
Reduce bureaucracy to realize Government 3.0 that better serves the public and strengthens the nation’s competitiveness
□ The Ministry of Environment will identify areas where cooperation with other ministries are necessary.
○ MOE reported a promotion plan outlining cooperative measures with relevant ministries. Specifically, the Ministry will focus on reducing bureaucracy and putting the public’s need at the center of national administration.
□ First of all, a joint directive for administrative convergence among relevant ministries will be established and implemented. An administrative convergence council, jointly chaired by the Deputy Minister of each ministry, will be established to discuss relevant issues.
○ Areas of cooperation include land/water resource management, livestock excretion management/rural community, forest resource/wild plant management, climate change/energy supply, environmental safety accidents, coastal region/marine product management.
□ The first step will be establishing a “Joint Land-Environment Planning System” to link the planning stage and the contents of the plans regarding the land and the environment.
○ To this end, MOE will cooperate with MOLIT to revise the “Framework Act on National Territory” and the “Framework Act on Environmental Policy.”
○ Expected benefits include reduced social costs and eco-friendly usage of natural resources.
□ To strengthen the environmental assessment process which includes the planning, implementation, and operation stage, areas subject to assessment will be expanded to include energy and water resources. Meanwhile, follow-up management during the operation stage will be evaluated more strictly.
□ Minister Yoon Seong-kyu emphasized that ”different ministries should cooperate together to come up with a sustainable system to manage our natural resources in order to prevent social conflicts arising from overexploitation or unsustainable practices“
○ In fact, uncoordinated national and urban development plans have resulted in the designation of development districts and areas that are 1.2 times greater than the nation’s total land area, leading to problems of overexploitation.
Ministry of Environment plan 2013
Even the Korea’s export declined by 1.3% in 2012 due to the world-wide economic slump, environmental industry made a significant increase in export.
The Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) reported on 18 that based on the analysis on performances of businesses supports for overseas projects in 2012, 515.1 billion won was exported, a 60% increase compare to the year before.
Export performance in environmental industry is growing every year since 2009 when KEITI started supporting small and medium-sized businesses to enter overseas markets.
In 2012, 135 small and medium-sized companies with excellent environmental technology received the government’s assistance through various programs including international co-localization project, green export agreement and environmental improvement plan establishment for developing countries.
Performance in 2012 is more meaningful as the export route expanded from Asia region to the Middle East and North Africa and as the export assistance service is reinforced with small and medium-sized environmental businesses in center.
MOE and KEITI have been expanding the activity range of domestic environmental industry by supporting new developing countries to establish master plans for environmental improvement since 2010. As a result, Daewoo E&C consortium concluded 580 billion won contract for restoration project of El Harrach River, Algeria, which was the largest environmental business.
Also, Kolon Global and Korea Eximbank signed 47 billion won contract for water work improvement project in Dodoma, Tanzania.
Last year, MOE and KEITI also ran programs for reinforcing export competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies.
Through an international environmental technology demonstration program, KBEC Korea obtained 23 billion won contract for securing landfill in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
MOE and KEITI are planning to intensify support for small and medium-sized environmental businesses to enter into overseas markets in 2013, with other related organizations including KOTRA and KOICA.
Export of environmental industry to increase ...
At the Closing
Plenary on the last day of COP18, Korea was selected by consensus as the host
country of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
To thank the endorsement,
the Minister of Environment Yoo Young-sook expressed her gratitude on behalf of
the Korean government and the Korean people, as follows:
Mr. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah,
President of COP18 and CMP8,
Her Excellency, Ms. Christiana Figueres,
Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC,
Honorable ministers and vice ministers,
It is my great honor to speak here.
Let me first thank the State of Qatar for excellent
arrangements and warm hospitality.
On behalf of the Korean government and the Korean people,
I want to express my sincere thanks to all of you for endorsing Korea as the
GCF host country.
I thank the GCF Board and alternate members for their
support. I also thank the German, Swiss, Polish, Namibian and Mexican
governments for their excellent proposals and competition in good faith.
from the international community and tasks of GCF host country
As Secretary General Ban noted in his speech, climate
change is an urgent threat to all of us. Especially, poor and vulnerable
countries will be affected most. Financial backing is essential for developing
countries in transitioning to a low carbon green growth path.
The GCF will play a critical role in supporting all these
efforts. We are very proud and honored to host this important organization.
As the host country, the Korean government will make
every effort to assist the GCF in settling down in Korea and performing its
important functions against climate change.
The Korean government, in cooperation with the GCF
Interim Secretariat, will provide legal and other administrative arrangements
at an early time. The Korean government will also provide assistance to welcome
the GCF and its staff moving into Korea. The building to be used by the GCF
will be ready by February next year.
Although the GCF will launch next year, the GCF still
lacks financing. Support and cooperation from the international community is
As pledged, the Korean government will partly support the
GCF‘s administration cost. The Korean government will support developing
countries in building up their capacity. Also, along with other countries,
Korea will take an interest in the issue of providing additional financial
support for the GCF and play necessary role.
We have a unique experience in economic and social
development, shifting from one of the poorest to a donor country. This
experience could be useful to developing countries. We are ready to share our
knowledge and experience.
We will listen to developing countries’ demands and
views. We will reflect these in our support for developing countries’ capacity
Korea has adopted Low Carbon Green Growth as a national
vision. For our vision of low carbon future, international cooperation is
crucial. In this regard, the Korean government is expanding its green ODA. We
will use a part of this to facilitate and support the GCF’s activities.
The Global Green Growth Institute, GGGI, has been
launched as an international organization last October. A green technology
center has been recently established in Korea. I hope the GCF, together with
these two institutions, systematically supports developing countries in
preparing green growth strategies, implementing green projects, and adopting
3. Closing remarks
It was a big initiative taken by the international
community to establish the GCF. The Korean government will faithfully serve its
role as the host country.
All of us want to see the GCF become an important and
effective institution in combating climate change. I hope all of us cooperate
to operationalize and invigorate the GCF at an early time.
Words of appreciation for endorsing Korea as ...
A pilot project
has initiated to improve the water quality of polluted Ciliwung River which
runs across Jakarta, Indonesia, fully utilizing the environmental policy,
technology and experience of Korea.
delegation headed by Minister of Environment Yoo Young-sook announced that
kick-off ceremony for pilot project for recovering water quality of Ciliwung
River was held with over 150 attendees of Indonesian government including the
Minister of Environment and the Minister of Public Works and Korean officials.
project aims to restore a 300m section of river among the main streams of
Ciliwung River for three years until 2015 with USD 9 billion, the joint
investment made by each Ministry of Environment of Korea and Indonesia and
Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
like Han River in Korea, is the drinking water source of 11 billion Jakarta
citizens but it has almost lost its ecological function due to neglected wastes
and inflow of untreated waste water for the last 30 years.
delegation is planning to construct a 500㎥/d size
sewage treatment plant through this pilot project.
In case the pilot
project is completed successfully, it is anticipated to be expanded to 10
trillion won projects for recovery of 13 rivers of Indonesia in the future,
expecting them to be a great opportunity for Korean water companies to enter
into environmental market of Indonesia.
The agreement on
the project was concluded when the Ministry of Environment of Indonesia
officially requested to Korean government to pursue joint project utilizing
technology and experience of Korea to recover the water quality of rivers in
After the request
on May 2011, the project was materialized when Ministry of Environment of each
country signed a comprehensive implementing agreement for recovery of 13 major
rivers of Indonesia on Dec. 2012.
As the project is
the first intergovernmental assistance project with the investment of KOICA’s
Official Development Assistance, it is evaluated to make a good business model.
MOE initiates the 10 trillion won projects fo...
The Ministry of
Environment announced on the 28th the attendance of the 18th
session of Conference of the Parties (COP18) held from November 26 to December
7 in Doha, Qatar. Led by the Minister of Environment Yoo Young-sook, Korean
delegates include the Minister of Strategy and Finance, public officials from
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Presidential Committee on
Green Growth and experts from industries and civic groups.
The session is the
largest international conference which has been held every year with
participants of ministerial level coming from across the world to discuss
measures against climate change such as greenhouse gas reduction and
At this session,
about 10,000 participants from 190 parties of UNFCC representative and
industrial and civic experts are expected for presence.
At the 18th session,
amendment of Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment and new climate change
regime beyond 2020 will be mainly discussed while official approval of Green
Climate Fund, which Korea is selected as the host country, takes place at the
on amendment of Kyoto Protocol will be made including finalization of the
second commitment period (8 years for advanced countries and 5 years for
developing countries are proposed) and emission reduction targets.
of Long-term Cooperative Action (LCA) will also be treated. As the host country
of the Green Climate Fund, Korea will emphasize that negotiation on finance is
an important factor for progressing climate change negotiations and that it
should be discussed continuously to draw tangible outcomes. Also, Korea will
actively participate in setting medium-term and long-term finances.
In addition, as
negotiations on Durban Platform which was agreed at the UN climate conference
in Durban (2011) are commenced in 2012, basic frame and work plans will be
discussed. Korea will support the idea that work plans considering the national
circumstances should be prepared by 2015.
COP18, a turning point in climate change nego...