South Korea’s new president has ordered the shutdown of 10 aging coal-burning power plants in his country as part of efforts to stem growing public anger over choking air pollution. President Moon Jae-in’s decision to shutter the plants, all aged 30 years or older, will close them temporarily next year and then permanently before the end of his five-year term. So far this year, authorities have issued 92 air pollution warnings — up from 64 advisories in the same period last year. The soaring levels of pollution have sparked growing public consternation, with the issue becoming a hot topic ahead of the election of Moon last week. The president’s edict is a reversal from the previous government, which had pledged to build 20 additional coal-fired power plants to bolster the 59 in operation. Coal burning accounts for about 40 percent of South Korea’s energy generation.
– via the Financial Times