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South Korea is setting an example for the rest of the world to follow in developing new and clean energy sources, including nuclear energy, as part of efforts to fight climate change, a country report by an international organization said Friday.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) especially praised the country for its 2009 pledge to voluntarily cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from its business-as-usual levels in 2020.
"In its report, the IEA very positively viewed the country's setting a reduction target and establishing related laws and regulations for green growth," the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in a press release.
report by the IEA on South Korea noted that the country's large investment in
energy, even in comparison with other advanced countries, has been creating what
it called a "foundation for low-carbon, green growth." The IEA's first country
report on South Korea was published in 2006.
"(The report) notes it
was important for the country to develop cost-efficient technologies that will
help reduce energy costs for consumers as the country's potentials to develop
new, renewable energy sources (such as solar and wind power) are low when
compared to other member nations of the IEA due to its climate conditions," the
Accordingly, the report said the country's ongoing efforts to develop nuclear plants was a "practical and efficient" way to meet its energy needs considering it does not have too many other options.
"The report, however, recommended the country improve its people's confidence in nuclear energy and strengthen the independence and role of its monitoring organization amid heightened public concerns over the safety of nuclear power plants following the accident at Japan's Fukushima plant," the ministry said.
South Korea currently operates 23 nuclear reactors supplying about 31 percent of its total electricity consumption. Seoul plans to build an additional 16 reactors by 2030.