COMMENTARY | Yonsei University in South Korea Applauds President Moon’s Move to Phase Out Coal

In September this year, on the first International Day For Clean Air For Blue Skies President Moon Jae-in announced that South Korea would shut down 30 additional coal power plants by 2034 in line with the country's ambition to cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote eco-friendly energy sources.

In August this year, South Korea’s Green New Deal was lauded as the first Green New Deal in East Asia. Electricity supply is of central concern. Much attention has been paid to the government’s stated goal of 30-35% renewable energy by 2040. The country aims to more than triple the number of solar and wind power facilities by 2025 compared with last year, boost the number of electric cars to 1.13 million from the current 110,000 and increase the number of hydrogen vehicles from 8,000 to 200,000.

Dr. Dong-Chun Shin, Professor of the Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University and Healthcare Climate Action champion, seconds the President’s move, “This is in keeping with the Green New Deal which South Korea has launched. In order to keep safe living conditions, we expect to protect public health from diseases caused by fine dust which is a Group 1 carcinogen, cope with climate change through energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction, and preserve natural ecosystems and the environment. We believe that all these will play an important role in public health enhancement and environmental preservation for the world”.

Yonsei University Health System is a reputed Global Green and Healthy Hospital (GGHH) member which has taken on the Health Care Climate Challenge (HCCC) launched by Health Care Without Harm. The HCCC is a pledge by health care institutions to reduce their carbon footprint and protect public health from climate change.