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Coal and oil can no longer be sustained as an energy source

President of the Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in

10 November 2021

Just as the climate crisis knows no borders, we should not either when working together to address climate change , President of the Republic of Korea His Excellency Moon Jae-in told the APEC CEO Summit.

Introduced by Contact Energy CEO Mike Fuge, Mr Moon said extraordinary determination and resolve, action and close cooperation were needed for a transformation to a carbon-neutral society.

Coal and oil can no longer be sustained as an energy source. Future technologies, industries and new jobs will come from our commitment to carbon neutrality, Mr Moon said.

His administration had closed domestic coal-fired power plants, stopped permits for new ones and cut public funding for new overseas coal power plants.

“Instead we are expanding the use of safe and clean energy. By 2025 we will have more than doubled solar and wind power facilities from 2020 levels.”

“Korea will invest $52 billion in building green infrastructure and underpin industries with technological and financial support as they transition to a low emissions economy.”

The Republic of Korea was at the forefront of the hydrogen economy having set out in 2019 its blueprint to achieve this.

“Hydrogen is a future energy source that produces no emissions, is available to all economies and has higher energy density than fossil fuels. In 2050 it is expected to account for 13-18% of world energy and the size of the market is forecast to reach $12 trillion each year,” he said.

South Korean companies are making a $37 billion investment in and exploring partnerships on all aspects of the hydrogen economy from production to distribution to end use.

“By 2050, Korea aims to convert gray hydrogen to blue and green hydrogen 100%, and significantly increase the production of green hydrogen.”

As an economic forum that represents 61% of world GDP, APEC will stand at the forefront of cultivating the hydrogen economy ecosystem, Mr Moon said. It is hoped that APEC will usher in a new Asia Pacific era on the energy front by building a clean hydrogen value chain.

The transformation to a carbon-neutral future must be inclusive and sustainable. South Korea was working with business and helping workers to move into different sectors and jobs, Mr Moon said. Developed countries should support and work with developing countries to decarbonise.

The Summit is supported by PwC (Knowledge Partner), Contact Energy, Fonterra, Microsoft and Westpac NZ.