After China, Japan and South Korea Pledge to Become Carbon-Neutral by 2050

Both countries to put the focus on sustainable development


The world’s third-largest economy, Japan, announced its plan to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

In his first policy speech in the parliament, Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister of Japan, said, “Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth. It is necessary to change the way of thinking that proactive measures against climate change will bring about changes in the industrial structure and economic society, leading to great growth.”

The Prime Minister of Japan stated that the government would advance research and development on pivotal technologies like next-generation solar cells and carbon recycling. The government would focus on digitizing environment-related sectors to promote green energy efficiently, he added.

Japan will try to mobilize several policies such as regulatory reforms, and it will also advance the footprint of green investment to achieve its goal of a carbon-neutral society.

“We will establish a stable energy supply by thoroughly conserving energy, introducing renewable energy to the maximum extent, and advancing nuclear energy policies with the top priority on safety. We will change the policy for coal-fired power generation that we have continued for many years,” said Yoshihide Suga.

Notably, several financial institutions in Japan are already working on promoting renewable energy. Earlier this year, Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc decided not to provide support to the newly-planned coal-fired power projects. Before that, Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group also announced that the bank would not finance new coal power projects.

Meanwhile, the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, declared that South Korea also aims to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

In his speech in the national assembly of South Korea, Moon Jae-in said that 8 trillion Korean Won (KRW) (~$7.06 billion) had been invested in the Green New Deal to tackle the climate change crisis.

The President of South Korea stated that the government would replace coal power generation with renewable energy to create new jobs, markets, and industries. “We would enhance financial support to local renewable energy businesses and develop low-carbon and green industrial facilities,” he added.

As a part of the Green New Deal, the government is investing around 2.4 trillion Korean Won (~$ 2.12 billion) for the green conversion of urban infrastructures by replacing public rental housing and old buildings with eco-friendly facilities.

The South Korean government will invest 4.3 trillion Korean Won (~$ 3.79 billion) to improve electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It will also accelerate electric and hydrogen vehicles’ supply to 116,000 units.

Mercom reported last year that South Korea planned to boost the share of its energy output generated from renewable sources to as much as 35% by 2040. As of April 2019, renewable energy accounted for 8% of South Korea’s energy generation.

Interestingly, the world’s largest and growing energy market, China, also announced recently that it plans to transform into a  carbon-neutral economy by 2060.