Korea Times

South Korea has worst air of advanced economies, report shows

Air pollution is 12 times worse than the OECD country average

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 12:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 September, 2017, 12:38pm

Korea has the worst air quality of any advanced country, with its fine dust (air pollution) level soaring over the past 17 years, according to an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report.

The report shows Korea had the worst level 12 times over the period with a fine dust level of 32 micrograms per cubic meter in 2015, compared with a 13.7 micrograms average for the OECD countries.

The fine dust exposure level refers to ultrafine particles or particle matter in one cubic meter of air.

Poland was second worst, with 23.4 micrometres, which is 8.6 micrometres lower than Korea.

At the other end of the scale, Iceland and Norway recorded 2.9 and 4.4 micrometres respectively as clean countries, the report said. The countries recorded low level of ultrafine particles, reflecting a significantly high level of reliance on renewable energy.

Iceland is 88.5 per cent reliant on renewable energy and Norway is 44.6 per cent. Korea figure is just 1.5 per cent.

President Moon Jae-in pledged in August to expand the development and use of clean energy technologies, replacing ageing coal and nuclear power plants by 2030.

The ministry will no longer give licenses to build or operate coal plants.

Read the original article at The Korea Times