South Korean construction giant Samsung C&T yesterday confirmed it will stop new coal-related construction, investments and trading.
However, it will proceed with building the planned 1,200MW Vung Ang 2 coal power plant in Vietnam, a decision that angers investors and citizens worried about climate change and the scheme’s profitability.
Vung Ang 2 is expected to pump 200 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over its 30-year lifespan.
Investors and citizens are also angry that state-owned Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco) is investing some $189m in Vung Ang 2.
Critics have decried Kepco’s decision as "deplorable", "devastating", and hypocritical in light of the new South Korean government’s recent declaration of a climate emergency, and its commitment to a Korean Green New Deal, which is intended to avert 12.3 million tons in emissions.Â
South Korea is the world’s second-biggest financier of coal power.Â
Today, South Korean president Moon Jae-in committed the country to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, saying: "We will replace coal power with renewable energy, creating new markets and industries as well as jobs."Â
Samsung C&T’s parent company, Samsung Electronics, has faced protests at its flagship stores around the world because Samsung C&T is being lined up to build Vung Ang 2, along with Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.Â
Image: Protests have been held outside Samsung’s flagship electronics stores in Palo Alto, California, London, Seoul, Manila and Tokyo because Samsung C&T is being lined up to build the Vung Ang 2 plant in Vietnam (Solutions for Our Climate)