ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • KISAC MS Girls Volleyball @KISJ on February 29th - March 2nd.
  • SKAC HS Basketball Finals @GIFS/Samcheonpo Gym on February 28th.
  • Registration for Season 3 ASA from February 28th - March 4th.
  • GIDAS Dress Down Day on February 27th.
  • SKAC MS Girls Volleyball Tournament @BFS on February 26th.
  • SKAC MS Boys Volleyball Tournament @DIS on February 26th.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Daegu International School's student news site
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • KISAC MS Girls Volleyball @KISJ on February 29th - March 2nd.
  • SKAC HS Basketball Finals @GIFS/Samcheonpo Gym on February 28th.
  • Registration for Season 3 ASA from February 28th - March 4th.
  • GIDAS Dress Down Day on February 27th.
  • SKAC MS Girls Volleyball Tournament @BFS on February 26th.
  • SKAC MS Boys Volleyball Tournament @DIS on February 26th.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Uncomfortable Truth About Sustainability

Korean environmental policies meet considerable backlash
Graphic by Christine Park.

*Disclaimer: The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the writer and do not represent the Jets Flyover. *

Environmental activists crowd social media news feeds with provocative messages about an imminent apocalypse. New “striking research” on global warming constantly makes headlines – For the past 35 years, the New York Times published 13,389 articles on climate alone.

In response to this hysteria, leaders worldwide promised innovative policies for carbon neutrality in the 2016 Paris Agreement; South Korea also took part. Seven years ago, our government announced the encouragement of a supposed green energy panacea—the “perfect” solution.

As a follow-up, Korea implemented mass-scale policies that favored eco-friendly energy development. A Ministry of Audit and Inspection report of Nov. 14, 2023, stated, “Following the international norms, our government selected ‘20% carbon neutrality achievement’ as a national goal on 19 July 2017 and for the past five years (2018-2022) spent significant government budget (43.3 trillion KRW) for renewable energy enhancement.” According to a UN report, renewable energy is cheaper, healthier, abundant, and economically beneficial – What could go wrong with this new mission?

Despite nationwide support, the rushed developments quickly revealed its flaws. Illegal construction, environmental destruction, and excessive financial consumption raised criticism. A report titled “Destroying hills for solar power…at the end, landslides,” released in 2020, highlighted an enormous backlash of the green energy plan that struck the citizens of Chung-nam only four years after its implementation.

Korea’s past five years underlined a comical irony of so-called ‘green’ developments that did more harm than good. The same report from the Ministry of Audit and Inspection described that “in the process of quickly increasing renewable energy supply, most suppliers were constructed on easily suitable hills and farmland, raising concerns on environmental destruction and of the local people.”

Critics also pointed out unreasonable clean power goals. An article from Chosun Daily stated, “The government’s unrealistic carbon neutrality goals would cause 6% of Korea’s area to be covered with solar panels…between 2017-2020, 5131 hectares of forests were damaged, as well as 2.6 million trees.”

The nation’s environmental goals fell through as all sizzle and no steak. Even after five years of effort and an investment of 43.3 trillion KRW, regenerative energy barely replaces the traditional methods of unsustainable fuel. A Korean Statistical Information Service report showed that clean energy only filled 9.5% of total electricity consumption—far from the primarily proposed 20% carbon neutrality.

Climate change, an impending doom, leaves a burden on our shoulders. However, modern Korea doesn’t seem to take its steps towards Earth replenishment. The actions of the government proved unrealistic, wasteful of civilian taxes, and harmful to our people and the environment. Unfeasible goals of fantasy and denial of the current climate state push us further from a greener environment. Instead of writing blank checks in hopes for progress, we must aim to face reality and work towards an attainable future for the next inhabitants of planet Earth.

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About the Contributor
Jerome Kwon, Writer
Jerome Kwon makes a comeback to the Jets Flyover staff after a one-year hiatus. With his heart on his sleeve, Jerome desires to write inspiring, thought-provoking, and critical articles for the students of DIS. Jerome greatly admires Mr. Lipsky and hopes to learn from him. He has a profound interest in the current geopolitical issues that affect the globe, especially Korea. He aims to become a riveting columnist and provide the latest investigative journalism for the people.
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    JeromeJan 16, 2024 at 8:59 am

    This article is so true! Thank you for this amazing article.

    Reply