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Korea’s National Carbon Neutrality Plan and 10th Electricity Basic Plan are not aligned with the global 1.5°C limit

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picture of trees and a city in South Korea

South Korea's new energy and emissions targets fall short of their ambitious NDC and the global 1.5°C goal

Accelerated deployment of renewable energy is crucial to meet the common global goal

Meet the Experts

Nate Hultman, Director

Jenna Behrendt, Research Manager

Ryna Cui, Research Director

Matt Zwerling, Research Associate

Bradley Phelps, Research Assistant

Press releaseMore from our experts!

N. Hultman, J. Behrendt , R. Cui, M. Zwerling and B. Phelps. (June 2023). “Korea’s National Carbon Neutrality Plan and 10th Electricity Basic Plan are not aligned with the global 1.5°C limit; Recent reduction of renewable energy target jeopardizes consistency with common global goal.” Center for Global Sustainability, College Park.

  • First, if it avoids using international offsets, Korea’s previously committed NDC target is broadly consistent with global 1.5°C trajectories. 
  • However, the recent Carbon Neutrality Plan would not deliver sufficient reductions domestically to avoid increased reliance on international offsets and jeopardizes Korea’s own climate ambition and therefore the global pathway to 1.5°C. 
  • Yet the proposed renewable energy target in Korea’s Electricity Basic Plan is insufficient to meet the global 1.5°C limit without high overshoot. To meet the NDC and low-overshoot 1.5°C pathway without international offsets, clean energy sources must be deployed far more quickly than in the Plan. Critical enhancements to Korea’s Basic Energy Plan are needed for achieving consistency with 1.5°C pathways, including:
    • Increase Korea’s share of carbon-free power generation to 67% by 2030
    • Increase Korea’s installed renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, geothermal) capacity to at least 100 GW by 2030
    • Immediately start phasing out all conventional coal power generation by 2035

The Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) released a new analysis of the Republic of Korea’s 10th Basic Energy Plan and Carbon Neutrality Plan, which updated several Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets, determining that their new energy and emissions targets are not aligned with global 1.5°C trajectories.

Using an integrated assessment model, our analysis found that while their current NDC target is broadly consistent with the 1.5°C goal, their several new NDC targets and updated energy plan may jeopardize their ambition set in the initial NDC target. 

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