Measures to Combat Fine Dust Implemented
Measures to Combat Fine Dust Implemented
  • Reporter Lee Mi-yeon
  • 승인 2018.11.29 11:11
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Fine dust swept over South Korea
Fine dust swept over South Korea

 

The government is introducing emergency measures to tackle fine-dust pollution, including limiting the number of diesel vehicles on Korea’s roads. 
As part of plan to combat the particulate fine dust problem, measures to tackle fine dust will be reinforced and support programs for diesel vehicles will be abolished. The repeal of a ‘clean diesel policy’ was one of the strongest measures. Enacted in 2009, the policy granted benefits to around 950,000 owners of low emission diesel vehicles, including discounts on parking fees and tolls. Diesel cars were encouraged when first introduced to Korea in the early 2000s because they were believed to produce less air pollution than gasoline vehicles. However, the Ministry of Environment discovered that diesel cars were responsible for 92 percent of all fine dust created by vehicles. The government vowed to purchase only eco-friendly vehicles for public transportation and replace all public transportation vehicles running on diesel by 2030. They also plan to expand the emergency pollution measure carried out by ministries and regional governments. 
However, there are criticisms on the measures. Above all, there are no countermeasures against fine dust coming from China. Although the government is planning to strengthen cooperation with local Chinese governments, it is difficult to expect actual results. Another problem is that the energy price adjustment measures to reduce the use of diesel cars by consumers are not included in the plan. In addition, emergency measures should be taken not only on the day when the fine dust occurs, but also before and after the expected date of occurrence. Instead of phasing out measures, a bold and comprehensive policy implementation is needed to improve the health of people and silence the public’s anxiety.


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