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  • 작성자 사진Kim Ji-yeon

[Feature] Time for Action! Carbon Neutrality 2050

No.160 / Oct 17, 2022

Massive wildfires, typhoons, heatwaves, and snowstorms caused by global warming have almost become a part of daily life, and their high incidence around the globe is evident. In recognition of the urgency of the climate change issue, the Paris Agreement, which both developing and developed countries have joined, was adopted in 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep the increase in the global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this goal, the concept of carbon neutrality has been emphasized, and over 110 countries have committed to a net-zero emissions target by 2050. In 2020, Former President Moon Jae-in announced that Korea would commit to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. His successor, President Yoon Suk-yeol, has pledged to maintain that commitment. Since then, not only the government but also several companies, including two of which are discussed below, have announced a carbon neutrality plan.


Samsung Electronics

On September 25, Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronic device and semiconductor manufacturers, announced that it will try to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 as part of its efforts to tackle the worsening climate crisis and increase the use of renewable energy. Samsung Electronics will invest over 5 billion dollars in its carbon-neutral projects and environmental technologies through 2030. The company will develop semiconductors and technological gadgets that consume less energy and intends to convert 100% of its electricity supply to renewable sources by 2050. Samsung Electronics has also joined Renewable Energy 100 (RE100), a global corporate initiative aimed at transitioning to 100% renewable electricity, and the company has indicated that it will try to increase the energy efficiency of its seven bestselling products by 30%. In addition to its investment announcement, Samsung Electronics has been encouraging consumers to recycle via its recycling program. Furthermore, Samsung Electronics aims to double down on using recycled plastic in its devices, with the goals of using 50% recycled plastic out of all plastic used by 2030 and 100% by 2050.


SK Group

In 2021, SK Group announced its carbon neutrality plan. SK Group has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, which is the year set by the United Nations (UN). SK Group has also set specific milestones for achieving its long-term goal. SK Group will cut its carbon emissions by 35% by 2030 and 85% by 2040. The Group joined the RE100 global initiative in 2020, becoming the first group of Korean companies to take the pledge. SK’s affiliates will expand the use of renewable energies, including solar power, as part of a larger plan to cut emissions of the seven major greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.


Several companies have stepped up and joined the plan because they realize that action regarding climate change is critical to their success. Other than being beneficial for the environment, becoming a carbon neutral business enables companies to increase revenue, reduce costs, and mitigate risks. Even if government policies have not yet gone into effect, there are still plenty of ways companies can reduce their emissions. Corporations should keep in mind that carbon neutrality is great for the environment, business revenue, and meeting end-consumers’ demands.


 

By Kim Ji-yeon, AG Reporter

jykim0502@ajou.ac.kr


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