“However, there is much to be done to make this declaration actually meaningful. The most urgent tasks are enhancing its 2030 emissions reduction target, presenting a clear roadmap to phase out coal by 2030, and putting a complete stop to coal financing.”
Britain’s First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab, praised Moon’s move.
“The UK warmly welcomes President Moon’s commitment to South Korea achieving #NetZero by 2050,” Raab said on Twitter this week. “This will build on the Korean Green New Deal to create a green recovery from COVID-19 & a greener future for all. All countries must show high-level ambition to build momentum for #COP26." COP26 is the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is next scheduled for 2021.
What are the lessons to be gleaned for other countries, including the U.S., from Korea’s efforts?
"I think the key lesson for the U.S. (and Australia for that matter) has to do with understanding what is driving the clean energy shift in South Korea (and indeed China) - the clean energy debate in those countries is framed less around 'solving climate change' than addressing pressing energy and economic security concerns,” Thurbon said. “These countries see the rapid development of clean energy industries as the ultimate solution to their pressing energy and economic security problems."
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
Note: This piece has been updated since publication to include expert analysis.