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[2014] Mayor’s Speech

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  • We Will Save Energy and the Citizens’ Livelihood

  • SMG 974

    Announcement of the One Less Nuclear Power Plant, Phase 2 -Seoul Sustainable Energy Action Plan
    Date August 20, 2014, Venue, Briefing room, Seoul City Hall

    Two years have passed since we, with great ambition, announced the comprehensive ‘One Less Nuclear Power Plant’ measure on April 26, 2012, a huge plan for us. Today, I will present the achievements that we have made along with the citizens so far, and announce the 2nd phase of the project.

    First of all, I would like to introduce members of the executive committee. As I followed the citizens’ words and promised that I would work far harder accordingly on the second year of Hopeful Seoul Administration, I fully reflected the citizens’ advice into the very beginning of the 2nd phase of the project that will be announced today. In particular, 48 experts from various sectors, civic organizations, and members of the executive committee from diverse areas took the lead in this work. We made all efforts to listen to the citizens’ opinions by holding 23 meetings, debates with citizens, and energy forums, and we have reflected those opinions in the plan. Let me introduce Ahn Byeong Ok, the head of executive committee of ‘One Less Nuclear Power Plant’, Park Seung Ho, the head of production department, Lee Myeong Ju, the head of efficiency department, and Kim Hye Ae, the head of civil communication department.

    This Friday the 22nd is Global Energy Day. The Earth Hour movement will also be held on that day. I will now announce our plans, hoping that this can be a meaningful event for celebrating Energy Day along with the members of the executive committee and the citizens of the city. As all of you might agree, energy issues such as climate change, the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and major power outages are among the greatest challenges of our time.

    When I became mayor, I understood that the most urgent issues that I, as a mayor, would have to deal with were tackling energy-related problems and sustainability issues. What, then, does Seoul need to do at the moment? The city asked the general public for their opinions and shared our views on energy issues, searching for an answer. That was how the ‘One Less Nuclear Power Plant’ plan was born. It was initially designed to save 2 million TOE, equivalent to the electricity that comes from one nuclear power plant. Of course, this did not seem feasible.

    We had a number of meetings with a host of people, and we were constantly challenged. Citizens built a solar power plant to increase energy efficiency in buildings and prevent energy leaks. LED replacement sparked a boom throughout the city, and has grown into a significant market. More than 1.7 million members of the eco-mileage program have made energy conservation a part of their lives both at home and in their workplaces. Although the initial goal was for 1 million members to be registered, the number has already reached 1.7 million. Teenagers, the next generation’s leaders, have also taken part in the movement. More and more residents have joined the happy Earth Hour movement. As a result, people have changed their perspective on energy issues and public participation has expanded over time.

    On June 2014, the project of reducing 2 million TOE, which previously seemed impossible, was finally realized, thanks to the active participation and support of citizens. Over that time, energy consumption nationwide increased in most parts of the country, as you can see in the diagram, but not in Seoul. For example, gas consumption has been dramatically reduced. Our energy self-reliance ratio also went up. More than 2 million green jobs were newly created in related industries. How could this happen otherwise than in a creative economy? The whole world sent their compliments and cheers to Seoul, and the city was recognized as a successful model for regional energy policies. We were given the UN Public Service Award and selected as an excellent city in the climate change action movement by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Citizens are energy. All the credit goes to our citizens. However, we must not be complacent.

    On the second year of the Hopeful Seoul Administration, we intend to work with our citizens to make the city more energy self-reliant, with the great value and social responsibility that comes with being a global city. I have received a great deal of advice from you both online and offline. I analyzed the outcomes of the first step of the project and thoroughly reviewed the global energy trend over six months. Now, the city of Seoul has become an energy self-dependent city. Seoul will promise to fulfill its responsibility as an energy-producing city, and will be fully protected from power shortage crises.

    We will increase our energy self-reliance rate from a mere 4.2 percent to 20 percent by 2020. We owe a great deal of energy to nuclear power plants in other regions, and now we would like to ease their burdens. This process will help reduce 4 million TOE that comes from nuclear power plant 2, resulting in a projected reduction of ten million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this goal, a sustainable energy action plan is needed.

    The 2nd phase of One Less Nuclear Power Plant is the Seoul Sustainable Energy Action Plan. For this task, we have created a new brand and slogan. The energy policy, designed to help all of 10 million citizens produce energy and conserve more efficiently, is a constant process of maintenance and work, saving both society and people. We will harness all means to conserve energy and ensure the wellbeing of our citizens. As a city of sustainable energy, Seoul will help people and be helped by people. We would like to suggest the following values for a successful energy policy. The first value is energy self-sufficiency. By relying entirely on our own clean and sustainable energy resources, Seoul will produce safer energy and fulfill its responsibility in energy conservation, living up to its responsibility as a large city.

    The second value is sharing energy. We intend to share our energy resources with those who have limited access to energy use as well as with future generations. Furthermore, we will realize a sharing society where we find a way to live together with those who are suffering from transmission towers which were built recently or are to be built.
    The last value is energy participation. We will create an active community that attracts open governance and voluntary participation throughout the process of policy formulation, promotion, and implementation. The four policy goals of the Seoul Sustainable Energy Action Plan are as follows: first, a city pursuing decentralized energy production; second, a social structure based on efficient, low energy consumption; third, producing job creating effects in green industries through energy innovation; and fourth, promoting energy-sharing communities.

    The city of Seoul will establish a self-sustaining system of energy by transforming 10 million citizens from energy consumers to energy producers and pursuing decentralized energy production. Efficient use of energy will lead to substantial savings in electricity consumption. I will make energy production and efficient use a part of our daily lives and social structure based on efficient and low energy consumption. Fostering investment into related industries will also lead to greater energy production. I will create better jobs through promoting innovation and the sustainable energy industry.

    We have already produced 20,000 jobs through nuclear power plant 1, which produces 2 million TOE. We will promote energy-sharing communities by creating a virtuous cycle where energy participants can turn their profits into donations. In this process, we will launch a crowd-funding campaign. All of these projects, including 10 core businesses, are energy policies that we all dream about. This promise to the people in this society: I will continue to cooperate and achieve these goals along with citizens.

    I will create a citizen-led virtuous cycle, ensuring that energy can flow, in collaboration with 25 autonomous districts, the central government, and other cities and provinces. Energy cooperation in field such as new renewable energy will contribute to creating a new brand of Seoul recognized universally that co-exist with local areas and leads global energy policies. This will make life better for people living in the city of Seoul. Let me emphasize once again: every citizen is energy itself. Let us work together to save energy while working to improve the livelihoods of our citizens. Thank you.