The South Korean government is going to discard its Clean Diesel policy in order to reduce the number of diesel vehicles, which are regarded as the main culprit of high-concentration particulate matter. At the same time, the government is going to expand the implementation of emergency particulate matter reduction measures, such as driving limitation, to 17 cities and provinces and the private sector.
According to the plan, the government will discard the low-pollution diesel vehicle certification system along with various incentives for more than 950,000 diesel cars. In the public sector, the ratio of eco-friendly car purchase will be raised to 100% by 2020 so that cars in use in the public sector can be completely replaced with eco-friendly vehicles by 2030.
In South Korea, diesel vehicle purchase by general consumers was allowed in the Roh Moo-hyun administration and various incentives were provided for diesel cars in the Lee Myung-bak administration. From 2011 to last year, the ratio of diesel cars in South Korea rose from 36.3% to 42.5%. At present, approximately 22.53 million cars are in operation in the country, including 9.58 million diesel cars.
“Diesel cars’ particulate matter emission is nine times that of gasoline vehicles,” said the Ministry of Environment, adding, “Specific action plans for diesel car ratio reduction will be prepared by February next year.”