S. Korean conglomerates to pour 22.4 trillion won into green business by 2013
By Lee Chi-dong
SEOUL, July 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's 30 largest conglomerates plan to invest 22.4 trillion won (US$18 billion) into the green-growth sector over the next three years, a presidential committee said Tuesday.
The investment would mark a 48.2-percent increase from the 15.1 trillion won the conglomerates spent during the past three years, the committee said. A breakdown of the investments would include 8.9 trillion won on clean energy, 5.3 trillion won for the development of hybrid or eco-friendly cars, and 4.3 trillion won for next-generational electric device development.
During a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth, President Lee Myung-bak stressed the importance of the civilian sector and the development of original technology to support his government's low-carbon and green growth campaign.
"(We) should develop all materials related with (green) technology and advance into the global market with 100 percent of our own technology," Lee said. "In the era of green growth, we should make original technologies."
South Korea's green market size is expected to outrun that of the construction market, currently estimated to be worth 2.5 trillion won, in 2020, according to the committee.
The Lee administration has been stepping up efforts for green growth, putting South Korea in the lead in a global fight against climate change. It announced a plan to cut the country's carbon emissions by 30 percent from a 2020 forecast, a 4 percent decrease from levels projected in 2005.
In 2009, the government introduced a five-year green-growth plan that calls for the country to spend 2 percent of its gross domestic product each year on developing environmentally friendly businesses and projects.
The National Assembly passed the Basic Act on Low Carbon and Green Growth earlier this year to support the initiative.
South Korea also launched the Global Green Growth Institute in June tasked with mapping out strategy and policy for the reduction of greenhouse gases and eco-friendly economic development.