South Korea yesterday announced plans to invest a staggering Won107,000bn ($85 billion) on ‘green growth’ industries over the next five years.
The government predicts the unprecedented cash-injection, around 2 per cent of the country’s entire gross domestic product, will create up to 1.8 MILLION new jobs in renewable energy and environmentally-friendly projects.
In a presidential statement, the country’s leader, Lee Myung-bak, said that the so-called Green New Deal will significantly boost growth and jobs in an effort to ride out the economic slump.
“The aim is for South Korea to become the world’s seventh most competitive country by 2020 in terms of energy efficiency and ability to adapt to climate change,” he said.
The ambitious improvements in energy-efficiency will be achieved via the encouragement of renewable energy projects, including solar and wind power, as well as carbon credit trading, hybrid cars and biofuels.
As part of the large-scale co-ordinated drive, the country plans to expand state support for research and development, also establishing a fund to offer loans, credit guarantees and favourable tax incentives to small and medium-sized companies developing green technologies
Kwon Tae-shin, South Korea’s minister for policy coordination told reporters, “The plan will not only help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also provide us with a new growth engine.”
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