70 billion won set aside to finance energy-saving projects
The government has provided 70 billion won ($62 million) this year to finance energy-saving projects, such as replacing conventional lighting in apartment underground parking garages with more energy-efficient LED lighting, as part of its push for "green growth."
The funds, provided through the state-run Korea Finance Corp. in the form of "factoring financing," will allow apartment complexes to switch to LED lighting for free, with the cost to be recovered later through electricity bill savings.
The financial support will also go to solar cell and other energy-saving projects, the Presidential Committee on Green Growth reported to President Lee Myung-bak during a regular meeting on the government's "green growth" campaign.
Green growth has been one of Lee's trademark policies and aims to lessen South Korea's dependence on fossil fuels and to promote the development of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power, and other energy-efficient technologies.
Lee believes the strategy will provide South Korea with fresh growth engines for its economy and help the country -- one of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters -- reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases amid growing calls to curb global warming.
The green growth committee also reported that the state-run Korea Technology Finance Corp. will increase the number of its staff handling green growth projects, and the Korea Finance Corp. will also set up a team to exclusively handle the financing of "green" projects.
The committee also reported that the government will continue to expand "green" aid projects for developing countries, adding the proportion of such environment-friendly official development assistance (ODA) projects rose to 14.1 percent of the total ODA projects in 2007-2010. (Yonhap)