Monday, December 3, 2012

100 Things I Love About Korea - #18: Green Growth

Korea was one of the first nations to make environmentally friendly economic development one of its key governmental philosophies.  This is a bit surprising in that (a) Korea has just recently emerged from developing nation status, (b) Korea has a history of being an environmental abuser, and (c) the initiative for the green growth project came from the right-wing conservative president Lee Min-Bak.
At a time, when other countries were cutting back on their environmental regulations to make room for easier economic growth, South Korea bucked the trends and doubled down on environmental sustainability.   80% of Korea's economic development package went toward companies promoting what they have dubbed "green growth."  They are investing heavily in research and infrastructure that will make the whole nation more efficient.
One of the benefits of being a mid-sized nation with a history of autocracy is that nationalized policies are easier to implement.  South Korea's style of environmental regulations and benefits would be nearly impossible to duplicate in the fractured federalism of the USA.  However, every nation should take their cues from Korea's basic philosophy of investing in environmentally friendly business and in the up-and-coming industry of environmentalism (alternative energy, recycling, etc).  It's not only good for the globe.  It's also good business!
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