Korea University: Korea University announces its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045

The Carbon Neutrality Implementation Subcommittee under the ESG Committee of Korea University (President Chung Jin Taek) held a seminar entitled ‘Korea University Carbon Neutrality Plan and Cooperative Implementation Scheme’ at 4 pm on Friday, May 6. Hosted by the KU Carbon Neutrality Implementation Subcommittee, the seminar was organized by Korea University OJeong Resilience Institute (OJERI), Institute for Sustainable Development, Office of Physical Resources, and Korea University Social Service Organization in cooperation with the Korean Association for Green Campus Initiative (KAGCI).

At the seminar, the Korea University Carbon Neutrality Plan was unveiled. It was planned by the ESG Committee of Korea University and written by Korea University’s OJERI and Institute for Sustainable Development in order to set an example for society and take the initiative in achieving carbon neutrality, considering that universities play a pivotal role in both a nation’s R&D activities and the education of future generations. In addition, to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and energy reduction targets, the plan introduced strategies to put in place a cooperative implementation system at the pan-campus level through an implementation path across KU organizations.

KU President Chung Jin Taek previously declared the university’s carbon-neutral ambition at its anniversary on May 5. In his opening remarks at the seminar, he said that by 2030 in the first phase KU would reduce 40% of its greenhouse gas emissions in connection with the SDGs and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives and by 2045 in the second phase attain carbon neutrality, harnessing solar power, hydrogen fuel cell facilities, and micro-grids.

He also said, “Korea University will take the lead in developing carbon-neutral technologies through its world-class research capacity, promote carbon neutrality implementation in collaboration with the local community, and drive the growth of the carbon neutrality industry through innovative education and support for startups, to accomplish carbon neutrality goals.

‘In his presentation on ‘Korea University Carbon Neutrality Plan,’ the head of OJERI Lee Woo-kyun assessed the current status of carbon emissions across campus and released KU’s carbon-neutral vision and phased-out reduction plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The Vice President for Campus Planning Hyun Seung-hun presented the KU energy saving plan and real-time monitoring system plan under the theme of ‘Korea University Smart Energy Campus Project.’ In his presentation of ‘Korea University SDGs Implementation and Plan,’ Eur Do-seon, head of Korea University Social Service Organization, introduced Korea University SDGs implementation status and outcomes from 2019 to 2021 and the key projects for 2022.

Ahn Se-chang, Director-General of the Metropolitan Air Quality Management Office (formerly a climate change policy officer of the Ministry of Environment), chaired a panel discussion about Korea University’s carbon neutrality plan and its cooperative implementation scheme. The panelists were Kim So-hee, secretary-general of the Climate Change Center, Park Sang-wook, a reporter for JTBC, Kim Jae-min, co-head of Regional Economy and Green Alliance, and Kwon Yu-jeong, an SDSN Youth Korea student member.

OJERI Head Lee Woo-Kyun said, “OJERI, the Institute for Sustainable Development, and the Office of Physical Resources of Korea University have cooperated to develop the university’s carbon neutrality plan through scientific analysis and research and are now working toward a carbon-neutral path for all KU organizations to follow.”