Seoul sees industrial greenhouse gas emissions drop during pandemic, but household emissions grow

SEOUL-- The city of Seoul saw greenhouse gas emissions by the industrial and transportation sectors decline during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic while emissions by households increased, officials said Tuesday.

The estimated total greenhouse gas emissions in the city reached 45.46 million tons last year, down 0.3 percent from 2020 and 8.1 percent from 2005, when the city made an international pledge to cut down greenhouse gas emissions, according to city data.

City officials pointed out that between 2020 and 2021, emissions by the industrial and transportation sectors, major greenhouse gas emitters, declined while those by households grew as a result of social distancing rules and a hike in the number of people working from home.

Emissions by households grew by 3.1 percent each year during the period, snapping their 1.3 percent yearly decline recorded in the previous 10 years, according to the data.

Emissions by the industrial and public sectors, meanwhile, shrank by 1.9 percent each year during the pandemic, a turnaround from annual 1.2 percent growth on average in the previous decade. Emissions by the transportation sector also dropped by 3 percent each year during the two-year period, further accelerating from the 1.5 percent annual reduction registered during the previous 10 years.

The city said greenhouse gas emissions by the waste disposal sector also snapped their downside trend and grew by 3.3 percent in 2020 from a year earlier, possibly due to an increase in the use of disposable items amid the pandemic and disease prevention efforts.

In 2021, the city's average greenhouse gas emission per person reached 4.78 tons, down 1.6 percent from 2005 but up 4.8 percent from 2020, the officials added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency