Fossil fuels harm the Environment and coal is one of these. Many power plants in South Korea burn coal to generate electricity. This creates unwanted CO2, which is a factor responsible for global warming. The smoke released combines with the dust and this pollution has ill effects on all living beings including humans. Therefore, the country has decided to control the menace. Its energy ministry has indicated that there would be the closure of its coal-fired power plants in phases to combat the high levels of fine dust pollution. There are 60 such units and 14 of them would not operate between December and February, according to the Guardian.

Another batch of 27 will idle in March. It will be a temporary measure and the ministry assured that these would not have any effect on the people during the winter months.

The Guardian says plants not covered by the closure will try to maintain their outputs at 80% of capacity. South Korea depends on coal-fired power plants for 40% of its electricity. However, the burning of coal has increased air-pollution in many of its major cities. It is a matter of concern since it involves issues related to health. The World Health Organization confirms this. It warns that such a situation could pose health risk since it has links to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

Tackling air pollution in South Korea

MPs took up the issue when fine dust particles covered the country in spring.

They cautioned that air pollution could lead to a “social disaster.” The government responded by introducing certain emergency measures. These included exercising control on power plant and on the use of vehicles. The intention was to identify and block the sources of pollution.

The Guardian has made a mention of friction with China on the subject.

Public health experts in South Korea blame China for most of the fine dust pollution in and around Seoul. This is where a majority of the population lives. However, the Chinese authorities have rejected those claims and want South Korea to put its house in order.

It has to perform a balancing act

According to Reuters, South Korea is determined to reduce its air pollution levels. It is taking action to reduce dependence on coal-fired power plants. There will be staggered shutdown in these power plants and some will operate on lesser capacity. These anti-pollution measures could help to improve the situation. The country has Asia’s fourth-largest economy, and it wants to cut down on its use of coal power.

One action on the anvil is to close six of its older coal-fired power plants by 2021 – this would be one year earlier than originally planned. It already uses nuclear power and gas power – the former generates 30% of its electricity and the latter around 20%. The authorities feel these measures will result in cleaner air.