South Korea Beating COVID-19 & Discussing a “Green New Deal”

South Korea Beating COVID-19 & Discussing a “Green New Deal”

The South Korean government provides COVID-19 emergency disaster relief funds to all of its citizens. It is an unprecedented amount of money that any Korean citizen can receive. The amount of funding depends on the number of household members; a household of one person can get roughly 330 U.S. dollars a month, a family of two about $490; about $650 for a household of three, and a little over $820 (one million Korean won) for a family of four. 

For the general public, the online application starts on May 11, and payment begins on May 13. The relief funds can only be used at the local marketplace or stores in the “local” government of the addressee, but not at online shopping malls or big supermarket chains.

Starting from May 4th, 2.8 million households living on basic pensions or disability payments received emergency relief funds in cash. The funds will be transferred directly into the bank accounts that they already receive government assistance. For those who do not apply for the disaster relief funds in three months, the money will be automatically processed as donations and used to support people who lost their jobs or have been put on unpaid leave.

To prevent people from applying all at once and overloading the system, the government implements a 5-day rotation system according to the last digit of a person’s birth year, just like the country rationed the buying of protective face masks.

In Korea, “Green New Deal” is actively being discussed as a way to overcome the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

During South Korea’s 21st legislative elections which were held on April 15, “Green New Deal” was a hot button.  Moon’s progressive camp, which made a promise of the Green New Deal, won the election increasing the prospects of the Green New Deal becoming a reality. The ruling party has pledged to support a Green New Deal Basic Act, and foster a low-carbon industry with the ambition of “a sustainable low-carbon economy.”

In a poll conducted by Greenpeace after the general election, the majority of Koreans responded that the Green New Deal would help end the recession caused by the coronavirus. According to a survey conducted by Greenpeace on 1600 South Koreans, 61% of respondents said that the Green New Deal policy would help boost Korea and the global economy. Also, 60% said that the National Assembly should pass the Green New Deal.

However, the new government’s policies so far have not included a Green New Deal. Instead, there is an emphasis on policies that support Korea’s 4th industrial development plan, such as building digital infrastructures such as data and 5G, fostering non-face-to-face industries, and digitizing SOC. 

The government still says that it will confirm the details of the Korean version of the Green  New Deal in early June. It is hoped that the government plan will include a roadmap for achieving a net-zero carbon society by 2050, and include proposals to increase the use of renewable energy, eliminate reliance on coal, and reduce fine dust pollution.

Activity Rating: **  Standing Still—So far the Moon Government’s promise of a Green New Deal has yet to materialize.

Take Action 

As the majority of South Koreans want the Green New Deal, the government needs to introduce the Korean Green New Deal and implement a sustainable growth policy. As promised before the general election, the ‘Korean version of the Green New Deal’  should contain plans to achieve a zero-carbon society by 2050. Please proceed with the Green New Deal legislation when the 21st National Assembly opens in June.

Contact information: 

Minister: Cho Myung-rae

Address: Government Complex-Sejong, 11, Doum 6-Ro, Sejong, 30103, South Korea




Image reference :

Learn More: 

Why are other countries attempting to buy S. Korea’s COVID-19 test kits?

South Korea’s COVID-19 Drive-Thru Test Sites | NBC News NOW

How South Korea has avoided panic buying despite COVID-19 outbreak

This post was submitted by Climate Scorecard South Korea Country Manager Ellie Jimin Kim

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