15 November 2011: Lecture tour South Korea on nuclear phase-out and turnaround in energy policy

Energy turnaround in Germany attract special attention
At the invitation of Friends of the Earth Korea and the Gwangju Summit of the Urban Environmental Accords in South Korea, Dieter Seifried visited South Korea for a lecture tour in October 2011. In his talks, Seifried presented the results of the project “Sustainable City” Munich, as well as the German Federal Government’s decision to phase out nuclear power and the consequent turnaround in energy policy.

In particular, the successful development of renewable energy sources and the applicable legal framework in Germany was received with great interest. For large parts of the South Korean population, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima was an insistent wake-up call. It is not only the geographical proximity that frightens South Koreans, but also the fact that South Korea imports food from Japan. Imported food was indeed declared ‘safe for human consumption’, a claim however, which leaves considerable doubt among the population.
 
The South Korean government pursues ambitious plans for expanding their domestic nuclear power program. One reason for this is the intention to strengthen their export strategy. The successful nation in terms of industrial development aims to become one of the largest exporters of nuclear technology. Yet, South Korea has great potential for developing renewable energy sources. And although South Korea is technically highly advanced, there is still plenty of untapped potential in the field of energy efficiency.