Can South Korea’s Climate Adaptation Investments Repair Northern Relations?

South Korea, (TFC)— In the face of looming climate crisis, the world isn’t waiting for America’s new executive administration. Recently, South Korea announced a 77 billion won ($658 million US) investment into climate adaptive technologies. The nation’s decision comes as more international entities pour funds towards the same end-goal.

February wrought record-breaking temperatures not just in America, but worldwide. These bled into other abnormal, unpredictable weather patterns occurring at accelerated rates. Some area’s experience this as “hot one day and freezing the next”, while other’s face natural disasters. That’s just in America, excluding less stable nations unable to adapt.

But while America’s federal government is scaling back climate commitments, other nations are picking up the slack. South Korea joined that group, announcing massive investments into adaptive technologies. That news came as record-setting temperatures, and unusual weather blanketed the web.

According to Business Korea, the funds are part of a comprehensive plan to combat climate phenomenon. Representing a 16% increase from 2016, South Korea’s recent allocation aims to secure “the top ten technologies” in three climate sectors. Those include carbon reduction, carbonization, and adaptation to current climate patterns.

It’s a push conglomerating business, science, and social sectors to address humanity’s greatest adversary. That includes supporting early commercialization for those technologies, both old and new. Creating market nitches for these technologies, however, is another problem. South Korea’s plan not only deals with producing the tech, but also in terraforming a climate market.

Thus, one must question how much international action against climate change has been stifled by slim profit projections. It’s a shadow which casts a bit darker, once you realize many adaptation technologies–right now–are geared towards developing countries.

Business Korea also cites a 19.2 billion won ($16.4 million) investment to stimulate “seven new projects”. Among the exotic initiatives considered by South Korea are solar cell, fuel cell, and bio-energy renewables.The nation’s Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning also shows a fondness of a particular project.

Dudded CCS (Carbon Capture and Store), the project envisions securing “up to 90% of carbon produced by fossil fuels.” The project’s website, however, references issues in storing carbon collected through such methods. Whereas some advocate underground storage–like nuclear waste–others fancy aquifers. Carbon, the website reports, may also be contained “several kilometers below the earth’s surface” in specialized rock formations.

In South Korea, the project has entered its third developmental phase. Officials also hope to enrich climate adaptation initiatives with “a community of research institutes”, and other augmenters. Additionally, facets are being erected for strategic future planning, in both the technologies themselves, and developing industry niches.

Image Source – Pixabay

The climate race may even potentially repair relations with South Korea’s northern sister. Plainly put: North Korea–with its frequent food shortages and malnutrition issues–is extremely vulnerable to climate change.

In an international arena defined by the hermit kingdom’s nuclear program’s, climate is a unifying force. History show’s a stunning compliance with climate agreements by North Korea. With the south diving headlong into adaptive technologies, and industry, diplomacy may become possible.

Such daring initiatives may become ever more vital as America’s new presidential administration play’s out. The world can’t wait on Trump’s wink or nod that climate change is even real, let alone fixable.

Countless onlookers have all but gawked at Trump’s personal oil industry investments, as well as his cabinet picks. Several of his nominees are big oil mavericks, with their own conflicts of interest; from Exxonmobil CEO Rex Tillerson, to the appointment of one of the most anti-EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) voices to head of the EPA. Shortly beforehand, information on adaptation, carbon pollution, and their links to climate change were purged from EPA’s website. Now, the world is truly leaving America in the rear view to address humanity’s greatest adversary.