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South Korea

An economy built on carbon-intensive industries, South Korea needs to rapidly transform its manufacturing sector to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and to maintain its global competitiveness.

South Korea

South Korea is the 10th largest economy in the world and 8th largest trading nation with exports accounting for 31% of the country’s total GDP (2020). Energy-intensive industries, such as steelmaking, semiconductors, petrochemicals and automotive sectors are of crucial importance for the country’s economic development. Compared to other major advanced countries, Korea’s industry is therefore highly carbon intensive. The country’s greenhouse gas emission reductions have stagnated and its renewable energy deployment lags far behind international trends. The energy-intensive sectors will therefore need to change radically for the country to meet its goal of reaching net-zero emissions in 2050, while maintaining their competitiveness against international competitors. In collaboration with Korean partner think tanks, Agora Industry proposes policy options and instruments that drive the rapid adoption of decarbonisation technologies in the Korean industry sectors with a focus on steelmaking, automotive and petrochemical industries. The proposals are based on international best practices and considering the specificities of the Korean context.

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