Environment

Korea's environmental policies and challenges

Jieun Choi
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Seoul's Skyscrapers Are an Unlikely Home for Honeybees

Some 30 rooftops of high-rise buildings in Seoul are homes to honeybees. Park Jin, CEO of Urban Bees Seoul, a beekeeping co-op based in South Korean capital, is behind the movement to make the mega-city friendlier for the insects.  The most difficult part about urban beekeeping is changing people’

Ben Jackson
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Don't Waste That Banchan: Where South Korea's Food Waste Goes

Kimchis, fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, seafood, meat, pickles, pancakes…. One of the many pleasures of dining out in South Korea is the selection of banchan, or side dishes, that accompanies most meals. But seldom — if ever — do all banchan get eaten. Diners take a few mouthfuls of this

Ben Jackson
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Hyundai's Hydrogen Dream

“We believe hydrogen energy is the key to a more sustainable world.” “If you’re going to pick an energy storage mechanism, hydrogen is…incredibly dumb.” The first of these quotes is from South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Company (HMC), which this month launched the Nexo, its brand new hydrogen

Ben Jackson
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After the Olympics: Can One of South Korea's Oldest Forests Be Restored?

The 2018 Paralympics is opening on Mar. 9, providing a valuable opportunity to highlight one of the Olympics’ biggest, but often unmentioned, environmental scandals: a series of wide scars running through what was once a protected ancient forest. Environmentalists reacted with outrage in 2014 when the South Korean government

Juwon Park
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Tesla Finds Hope in South Korea's Luxury Car Market

It took me a while to find the nearest Tesla Supercharger from my office in Seoul’s Daehak-ro district. Following instructions on Tesla’s website, I took a bus for three kilometers to an address at “33 Jongro, Jongro-gu,” which turned out to be an empty lot sandwiched between shiny

Bryan Betts
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Last Murmurations of a Destroyed Wetland

Once, you could stand in the middle of the Saemangeum estuary at low tide and look out on a vast expanse of shimmering gray mud seemingly as boundless as the ocean itself, a landscape pockmarked with thousands of tiny volcanoes and home to diverse species of wildlife. All of that

Ben Jackson
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The Myth of S. Korea’s World-beating Nuclear Energy Exports

“Mommy, can I go and play by the nuclear power station?” — The above promotional image is from the website of KEPCO, South Korea’s largest energy provider.  This autumn, South Korean media and netizens were busy arguing out the pros and cons of building new

Ben Jackson
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Plane Madness? Second Airport Plan Angers Jeju Islanders

On Tuesday morning, the wind blew tufts of black hair across freezing paving stones by the Blue House. Giant fiberglass Pyeongchang Olympic mascots — a white tiger and an Asiatic black bear — looked on as five electric razors hummed across five scalps. Villagers from Seongsan, a quiet county on

Ben Jackson
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Pretty and Polluted: Jeju Overfilling With Tourists

2011 was a busy year for the civil servants of Jeju Island. South Korea’s most famous island — bar Dokdo — had made the shortlist for the so-called “new seven wonders of nature.” With no restrictions on the number of telephone votes cast by each individual, Jeju’s public

Raphael Rashid
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Life's A Boar: Wild Pig Sightings in Seoul Increase 11-Fold

Wild boars coming down to residential areas in Seoul from the mountain in search of food are increasing at an alarming rate. On Nov. 17, Seoul Metropolitan Fire & Disaster Headquarters released data about the rise in boar encounters in Seoul. Emergency services revealed that over the span of five

Ben Jackson
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CCPI 2018: South Korea's Climate Change Response Sucks

South Korea has been ranked 58th out of 60 countries worldwide in Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2018, an instrument that assesses action taken on climate protection. The index, compiled by European NGO Germanwatch, aggregates performance in terms of 14 indicators within four categories: greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy

Raphael Rashid
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Media Roundup: Earthquakes Shake Pohang

On Wednesday at 2:29 p.m., almost every mobile phone in a country where almost everyone has a mobile phone beeped feverishly in a synchronous buzz. The alert wasn’t to warn of a North Korean missile attack, nor was it an extreme weather warning. It brought news of