Cover Story

The Way We Should Go, Green New Deal

  •  Introduction of Green New Deal

 Green New Deal is a compound word of Green and New Deal. At this point, the New Deal refers to an economic policy promoted by President Roosevelt of the United States to overcome the Great Depression in 1930. Green New Deal refers to sustainable development centered on the environment and people, referring to a policy that increases employment and investment while converting the current fossil fuel-oriented energy into new and renewable energy. In other words, it is a policy that induces economic stimulus and employment promotion through investment in the environment such as climate change response and energy conversion. This is a transformation for the existing economic and industrial system, and it responds to the climate crisis and environmental problems by converting to a low-carbon economic structure. 


 In particular, this policy is being emphasized as a key task for the so-called "post-COVID-19" era. This is because the pandemic situation of COVID-19, which took over the world in 2020, is closely related to the natural destruction of mankind and the resulting climate change. The emergence of new viruses, which has become frequent in the 21st century, is associated with indiscriminate environmental destruction in humans. It means that this is due to the decrease in animal habitats and frequent contact with humans by animals with viruses. As a result, interest in human life coexisting with the environment after COVID-19 is increasing. 
Due to the rapidly changing climate, the world is pushing for a climate action movement. The British Parliament declared a climate emergency in 2019, followed by more than 110 countries. In 2020, China announced its goal of reaching carbon neutrality before 2060, and in 2021, the United States rejoined the Paris Agreement. South Korea implemented the Green New Deal as part of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.


  •  The case of Green New Deal in South Korea

In the case of South Korea, due to rapid industrialization after the Korean War, it has become one of the most severely polluted countries around the world. South Korea has begun to focus on environmentalism in recent years due to the past days when economic growth was prioritized. The Green Growth Strategy that began during the Lee Myung-bak government has progressed to the current government. As the project was criticized for its inefficiency, it announced the Green New Deal Policy in July 2020, focusing on eco-friendly cities and renewable energy development. In addition, the government has adopted the ‘2050 Carbon Neutrality Strategy’ to make various sectors of the economy more eco-friendly, such as energy production and industrial sectors.


 The core contents of the Green New Deal in South Korea are as follows. The first is the establishment of a foundation for promoting carbon neutrality. As carbon neutrality emerged as an essential factor in national and industrial competitiveness, South Korea also declared its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 in October 2020. To support the implementation of the 2030 national greenhouse gas reduction goals, the greenhouse gas measurement and evaluation system will be reorganized, and the establishment of international orders such as the carbon border adjustment system will be utilized. In addition, by revitalizing the net economy and expanding carbon absorption sources, South Korea intends to promote the creation of a resource circulation industrial complex and lay the foundation for establishing a carbon absorption source management system. Subsequently, by raising awareness of carbon neutrality across the country and supporting adaptation to climate change, it is trying to operate an incentive system for carbon consumption and support the establishment of climate change adaptation infrastructure for the vulnerable.


 The second is the green transformation of urban and living infrastructure. The purpose is to create a green-friendly daily living environment for the people to realize a future society where humans and nature coexist. The government intends to build and remodel eco-friendly energy and high-efficiency buildings using renewable energy facilities and high-performance insulation materials in public facilities close to people's lives. In particular, to create an eco-friendly and digital education environment, it intends to expand the target of green smart schools by installing solar and eco-friendly insulation materials and establishing Wi-Fi in all classrooms. In addition, it plans to create green areas in city centers to restore the green ecosystem of the country. The ocean, cities, and national parks will be renewed to restore natural ecosystem functions.


 The third is the diffusion of low-carbon dispersed energy. This is to prepare for an era of the future energy paradigm shift that spreads sustainable new and renewable energy throughout society. South Korea intends to establish a safety evaluation center for smart power grids, underground wiring, and energy storage system facilities. In addition, it plans to establish a foundation for the spread of new and renewable energy and support fair conversion. In particular, the spread of green mobility such as electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles is expanding. 
The fourth is the establishment of a green industrial innovation ecosystem. It aims to create innovation conditions by discovering green industries and expanding support infrastructure that will strategically challenge in response to climate change and environmental crisis. By fostering promising green companies and creating low-carbon and green industrial complexes, it is intended to support facilities in eco-friendly manufacturing processes and to enable the creation of smart energy platforms. Besides all that, efforts are being made to lay the foundation for greenhouse gas reduction, fine dust response, resource circulation promotion, and green finance.


  •  Implications of Green New Deal

 As such, South Korea is striving to set specific goals and implement them to achieve the Green New Deal Policy and Carbon Neutrality. In particular, a lot of attention is being paid to the Korean version of the New Deal to respond to COVID-19, and many discussions are taking place regarding the Green New Deal. What should be discussed more importantly in the future is which direction the Green New Deal of South Korea will go. Due to the nature of the Green New Deal, it is not because of the short-term business selection, it is important how things go in the long run. In addition, for the stable promotion of the Green New Deal, there must be support for mid-to-long-term policies and institutions.
 What we can finally expect through the Green New Deal is the transformation of Korean society into a green society. This includes almost all changes in daily life, including economy, society, environment, and culture. Therefore, the Green New Deal includes not only responding to climate change, but also restoring our society and land to an eco-friendly state, preserving various biological species, and further changing our lives away from the consumption lifestyle we now live. Through this, the people's agreement is essential because the transition to a green society will only be achieved through the effort of everyone. In other words, the Green New Deal is mid-to-long-term, requires large-scale financial investment, must be made through changes in our lives, and is based on public acceptance, so a consensus is needed.