The Korea Herald


Ruling party urges gov't to bolster clean-air policy

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Published : June 2, 2016 - 10:08

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South Korea's ruling party on Thursday urged the government to put a priority on improving the country's air quality rather than just pursuing a policy of bolstering energy efficiency.

"While the government has been promoting diesel automobiles for energy efficiency, it is important to note such cars are behind the air pollution issue," Rep. Chung Jin-suk, the floor leader, said during the meeting with government officials on fine-dust emissions.

The party whip then expressed concerns over speculation that the government is considering measures to regulate barbecue shops and increase the price of diesel without getting feedback from the general public.

"We asked the government to exclude measures that may weigh on the lives of the public or increase the burden on small shop owners," Kim Gwang-lim, the chief policymaker of the ruling Saenuri Party, said.

The party also asked the government to expand dialogue with China on how best to reduce the emission of pollutants. Prevailing winds sometimes cause dust created in China to affect the Korean Peninsula.

"While we already exchange pollution-related information with five Chinese cities, we should expand ties on such matters with more areas," Kim said, adding the two countries will bolster deeper ties to reduce fine dust emissions.

The government should also make efforts to find detailed causes of air pollution rather than to just come up with stopgap measures, he added.

Lee Suk-joon, the top official in charge of government policy coordination at the Prime Minister's Office, said local ministries are narrowing their differences in related policies, adding they will come up with balanced measures for air pollution. (Yonhap)