My hometown in Korea has been known for great apples for a long time. ‘Daegu’, the region that my hometown is in, has big daily temperature changes and also high temperatures during the summer season. Apples contain high sugar content when they are under a high amount of sunshine. Because of this, the geographic region of Daegu has been famous for apples just like Vermont is famous for maple syrup! However, the apple is not a symbol of Daegu anymore. The average temperature of Korea is getting higher and higher, and the area of apple production continues to move North.
<Red shows rising temperature and the location circled is Daegu. National institute of environmental research. Korea>
The speed of rising temperature in south peninsula in Korea is shocking. We are expected to experience 4.5℃ rising in average temperature and 83.3mm increase in precipitation from 2001 to 2100. After 2071, South Korea will be classified as a tropical weather region, except for some of the alpine terrain. Soon, we will no longer expect apples in our country. This is not only a problem for our hometown, but for the whole country. Also the fishing industry were shot up. Changing the ecosystems not only result in the loss of regional symbols in one area (like apples or maple syrup), but also cause economic issues.
To prevent global warming, we need to take action. First of all, at a government level, Korea works as a member of global world. Under the convention of climate change, we assigned the Protocol that was implemented worldwide and made a rule to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Each government stressed the importance of environment and climate change. Our government made a paradigm called ‘Green development’. Green development is economic development that aims to achieve both economic conservation and economic development. Through natural energy and green technology, we have made a lot of new developments and also minimize GHGs. About 2 decades ago, the government changed all of the buses that use fossil fuel into natural gas and revoked natural river under the city. Sadly, our implementation is not really successful. According to the rates published by France’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Republic of Korea got a low grade – we were one of the country where did not make any progress towards cutting emissions among the G20. We still have a long way to go.
Korea has high percentage of global warming knowledge. According to survey of public hold by EAI, Korean believe ‘Global warming’(67%) is the biggest problem even over ‘Nuclear development in North Korea’(50%), ‘International terror’(49%) and ‘Conflict between North and South’(29%). As a nation where over 90% of people believe global warming is real and caused by human activity, interest about global warming is high. As a result, we highlight environment improvement in our diplomatic policy. On the other hand, what may be a problem is that we emphasize the economic way over an environmental way. Based on this fact, our society must look for policies to achieve both economical success and environmental conservation.
We still have long way to go, but some companies are trying their best to cut green house gas and turn to eco-friendly production. They support renewable energies such as solar energy or wind energy to replace fossil fuels. These kinds of efforts gives good impressions to consumers, which raises their profits. This is killing two birds with one stone! Now each part of society really needs to create their own efforts to stop global warming and what we’re doing to the Earth.