In line with the global action for carbon neutrality, Daegu Metropolitan City has promoted various policies for practical action and effect rather than policy slogans or ideology this year, and is currently searching for measures to transform the city into a people-centered, leading carbon-neutral city.
Daegu has been playing a leading role in responding to climate change. In 2010, it became the first local government in South Korea to establish and implement a climate change response plan. Last year, the city also voluntarily established and implemented the Daegu Metropolitan City 2030 Comprehensive Climate Change Response Plan, although there was no legal obligation.
In the public sector, Daegu has been ranked first in the central government’s joint evaluation for four consecutive years through active greenhouse gas reduction activities. In the field of climate change adaptation measures, the city has continued to rank first in the government’s joint evaluation for five consecutive years.
In July 2020, as the first representative of the Coalition of Local Governments for Carbon Neutrality, made up of 209 local governments across South Korea, Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin led the carbon neutrality declaration of local governments. Currently, carbon neutrality declaration in which 209 local governments are participating. Currently, Kwon is serving his second term in the Coalition and leading the efforts to encourage solidarity and cooperation among local governments.
In May 2021, he also attended a special session at the P4G* Seoul Summit and introduced the “leading carbon-neutral city of Daegu” to the world in the discussion of the resolutions of all local governments in South Korea to be carbon neutral and the role of local governments to achieve carbon neutrality.
* P4G: Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030
Discussion in the Special Session for the Action of Local Governments Towards Carbon Neutrality at the P4G Summit, held on May 24, 2021 >
In addition, taking the lead in the international trend for carbon neutrality, Daegu became the first city in South Korea to participate in the United Nations-led “Race To Zero” campaign in April 2021 and has been sharing the city’s achievements and cases regarding the implementation of measures for carbon neutrality with the international community. In May, Daegu also joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) and promised to ban the construction of new fossil fuel power generation facilities, thereby strengthening its international solidarity in the efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. Accordingly, the city has also identified model carbon neutrality projects, such as the decarbonization of urban industrial complexes, and proposed them as mega-projects.
As for exemplary cases of greenhouse gas reduction, Daegu became the first local government in Korea to implement the “Landfill Gas Resources Project” (KRW 53.5 billion) since 2007, which was recognized by the UN, as well as the “Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading System” (KRW 3.3 billion) a greenhouse gas reduction initiative for city-owned environmental infrastructure. From these efforts, the city has secured a total of KRW 56.8 billion in revenue so far.
On December 14, 2021, Daegu announced the vision of “People-centered, Leading Carbon-Neutral City” at the Citizens Briefing Session on 2050 Carbon Neutrality Strategy. For greenhouse gas reduction, the city set a challenging goal that surpasses the national target of 40% reduction, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% against the city’s 2018 output level of 9.43 million tons by 2030.
In addition, for the specific implementation of measures for carbon neutrality, a mid-to-long-term step-by-step tasks were established, centered on the 8G Strategies* in eight areas, including climate and environment, civic life, and circular economy.
* Climate and environment (Green Growth) / civic life (Green Lifestyle) / circular economy (Green Cycle) / forestry, agriculture, and husbandry (Green Forest & Farm) / economic industries (Green Innovation) / energy transition (Green Energy) / green transportation (Green Mobility) / buildings and city (Green City)
These carbon-neutral strategies are meaningful in that they were devised through discussion and deliberation, led by the 42 members of the “Citizens Council for 2050 Carbon Neutrality,” which was launched in June 2021.
In addition, the policies and civic participation action program “Carbon Reduction 1110*” proposed by the Citizens Council for 2050 Carbon Neutrality is expected to provide a great opportunity for Daegu to trigger the transition to decarbonization from the grassroots of community.
* 10 actions 1 citizen can take to reduce 1 ton of greenhouse gas per year
“Carbon Reduction 1110” contains guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in daily life, in areas such as energy saving, water conservation, recycling, transportation, eating habits, and consumption habits. It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.45 million tons* per year.
* 2.45 million tons is about 26% of Daegu’s 2018 carbon emissions of 9.43 million tons
Going forward, Daegu plans to encourage participation in the “Carbon Reduction 1110” program by implementing measures, such as publicizing relevant issues on a monthly basis, hosting carbon neutrality action proof shot event, selecting excellent citizen participants, and providing incentives.
In addition, the city plans to strengthen its roles and bases to realize carbon neutrality to incorporate the implement eco-friendly lifestyle, green purchasing and production, implementation of sustainable development goals as well as environmental, social and governance into society as a whole.
Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin remarked, “If we prepare for carbon neutrality in advance, we can reduce the pain and cost that arise in the process and create new opportunities.” He added, “We will identify model projects so that we can take a leap forward as a carbon-neutral leading city and also vitalize citizen participation activities.”