News ID: 259463
Published: 0923 GMT September 30, 2019

More South Korean coal power plant curbs needed to tackle pollution: Advisory group

More South Korean coal power plant curbs needed to tackle pollution: Advisory group

South Korea should close up to a quarter of its coal-fired power plants between December and February and nearly half in March in a bid to tackle pollution, an advisory body headed by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

South Korea operates some 60 coal-fired plants, generating about 40 percent of the country’s electricity, but is facing growing calls to improve air quality, rated as the worst among its peers in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2017, Reuters wrote.

South Korea has halted some ageing coal-fired power plants in recent years to reduce air pollution. But the National Climate Change and Air Quality committee recommended closing up to 14 over December to February and up to 27 in March, dramatically scaling up the closures.

The committee, set up President Moon Jae-in, also recommended capping operations at other coal-fired power plants during those months at 80 percent. At present, plants are only capped at 80 percent when an air pollution advisory is issued.

“The gist of our policy proposal is cutting air pollutant emissions by over 20 percent from a year earlier through reduction measures,” the group said in a statement.

For the transportation sector, the advisory body suggested restrictions on older diesel vehicles and introducing incentives to encourage ships entering the country’s ports to use low sulfur fuel oil.

The government would consider implementing group’s proposals, the group said.

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