chapter  13
16 Pages

Green-blind growth: a critical appraisal of environmental governance in the Republic of Korea RAKHYUN E. KIM

Government interest in environmental sustainability is a relatively recent phenomenon. The fi rst national environmental laws, the Public Nuisance Act of 1963 and the Environmental Conservation Act of 1977, were largely ineffective as they were designed with a clear intention not to hinder economic growth (Lee 1993; Jeong 2002). It was not until the 1990s, when the next generation of environmental laws began to emerge under the Framework Act on Environmental Policy of 1990 (Cho 1999; Kim 2007). A further wave of legislation came in the late 2000s, when the National Assembly passed the Framework Act on Sustainable Development in 2007 and the Framework Act for Low Carbon Green Growth in 2008. Between 2009 and 2012, the government invested 50 trillion won (approximately 43 billion US dollars) in a Green New Deal, constituting 3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (Barbier 2010). The ROK’s green growth strategy has attracted positive attention from a number of international organizations including the OECD and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (Sukhev et al. 2010; Lefl aive et al. 2012).