Seoul City looks to beat climate change and conquer carbon
Seoul City announced plans to build up its climate change resilience and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon on Thursday announced a five-year plan to respond to changes in the climate, with goals to upgrade 1 million old buildings into low-carbon buildings and increase the ratio of electric vehicles to 10 percent of all vehicles in the city by 2026.
With the aim of reducing yearly greenhouse gases to 35 million tons by 2026, a 30 percent reduction from 2005, the capital city aims to become a "city safe from the climate crisis." The total investment to be set aside for this for the next five years amounts to 10 trillion won ($8.4 billion).
The master plan focused on reducing emissions from buildings and transportation, which accounted for 88 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Seoul as of 2019.
The city will begin this year, for the next five years, to transform 1 million old buildings into low-carbon buildings that are more energy-efficient and emit less greenhouse gasses. It will also give subsidies to selected buildings to switch to eco-friendly boilers and install LED lighting.
Starting from 2023, new privately owned buildings that are built with a total floor area of 100,000 square meters (1.08 million square feet) or more must be designed as a Zero Energy Building (ZEB), or a building with net zero energy consumption.
The city also plans to raise the usage rate of new renewable energy from last year's 4.2 percent to 21 percent by 2030 by implementing various sources of energy such as hydrothermal and geothermal energy. The city will first introduce a hydrothermal energy system in the reconstruction area of Banpo-dong in Seocho District, southern Seoul.
In the transport sector, Seoul seeks to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations across the city by tenfold, from 20,000 last year to 220,000 by 2026, in a bid to create a living zone where residents can find a charging station within a five-minute distance.
The city also hopes to raise the cumulative number of electric vehicles from 52,000 to 400,000 over the same period, with one out of every 10 vehicles in the capital city being an electric car, through offering a more electric car-friendly city infrastructure.
Additionally, Seoul will create and maintain 31 million square meters of green spaces and parks throughout the city by 2026, an area equivalent to 13 times that of the World Cup Park in western Seoul.
Oh’s signature project “Jicheon [Stream] Renaissance,” which will convert Seoul's small streams into waterfront living spaces, will also kick off in six places this year, such as at Jeongneung Stream in eastern Seoul.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government expects the comprehensive plan to create about 70,000 jobs and put some 20 trillion won in the economy by 2026.
BY SEO JI-EUN [email@example.com]