Country Profiles

Presidential Committee on Green Growth (PCGG)


Phone: +82 2735 2539

Fax: +82 2735 2162


136 Seolin-dong
Jongno-gu, Seoul
Republic of Korea 110-729



Mission Statement

Global Leadership on Combating Climate Change

At the G8 Summit in Toyako 2008, President Lee Myung-bak made several key initiatives. He declared Korea will be an ‘early mover’ in addressing climate change and announced its plan to set a 2020 mid-term mitigation target for Korea. Korea is undergoing a study on its mitigation capabilities and will soon announce its target after a national consultation based on the study result. When announced, Korea will probably be the first non-Annex I country of the UNFCCC to set its voluntary mid-term target.

More than an Environmental Movement

Green Growth is not just another environmental program to remediate environmental pollution or mitigate greenhouse gas. Green Growth brings a new paradigm to economic development. It seeks to break away from the conflicting nature of “green” and “growth” and achieve economic growth while maintaining environmental integrity. Green Growth will be the guiding principle of development for Korea.

Korea will promote economic activities in line with the 3 key principles of:

  1. maintaining productive economic activities while minimizing the use of energy and resources;
  2. minimizing environmental pressure with every use of energy and resource; and
  3. making investments on environment a driver for economic growth.

Recent Activities

The 1st National Basic Energy Plan (2008~2030) and Comprehensive Plan on Combating Climate Change

The concept of Green Growth was integrated into the national energy and climate change plans. National energy plan, which was passed on 20 August 2008, has set the goal of increasing the share of renewable energy to 11% by 2030. Climate change plan is the most comprehensive and ambitious plan Korea has developed in addressing climate change which includes adaptation and international efforts.

‘Green New Deal’ Stimulus Package

Announced on 6 January 2009, the Stimulus Package is an investment plan of 50 trillion KRW (38.5 billion USD) for the next 4 years on 9 key green projects and some spillover projects that will create 956 thousand new green jobs. 2009 budget (including tax benefits) is approximately2.6% of the annual GDP. The budget is already being implemented and proposed additional budget request will take the total number much higher.

The 9 key projects include

    1. Revitalization of 4 major rivers
    2. Building green transportation
    3. Building database on national territory and resources
    4. Water resource management
    5. Green car and cleaner energy program
    6. Resource recycling program
    7. Forest management & biomass program
    8. Green home, office and schools
    9. Greener landscape and infrastructure

Comprehensive R&D Plan on Green Technology

Endorsed by the National Committee on Science & Technology announced on 13 January 2009, the Plan calls for a two-fold increase of R&D spending on Green Technology by 2012 (769 million USD in 2008) on 27 key technology areas such as climate change prediction & modelling, photovoltaic solar panel, LED, waste regeneration, carbon capture and storage, etc.

Composition and Membership

In order to oversee all Green Growth initiatives and provide strong momentum, the Presidential Committee on Green Growth was established on 16 February 2009.

The creation of the Presidential Committee on Green Growth represented the integration of Korea’s National Committee for Combating Climate Change, National Energy Committee, and Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development. This process was led by an integration Committee (co-chaired by the Prime Minister and a distinguished professor Kim Hyung Gook), consisting of 47 members including relevant ministers and distinguished experts and stakeholders from the private sector.

Role and Functions

In the first half of 2009, the Committee formulated the National Strategy on Green Growth and a five-year ‘Action Plan’ for its implementation.

The Committee will also develop a new form of governance for Green Growth that will bring together all stakeholders from national & local governments and private sectors. “Chief Green Officers (CGOs)” will be appointed in all public institutions to promote Green Growth in all public policies.

Furthermore, the government has proposed a new Framework Law on Green Growth. If enacted, it will be a comprehensive law that will encompass all related issues on energy, climate change and sustainable development.

Former Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development

Mission Statement

‘The Commission promotes the government's sustainable development in an efficient way and provides advice to the president with regard to proper settlement of social conflicts’. It aims to ‘establish a national strategy and policy for sustainable development taking into full account the future generations, which embraces diverse tasks such as policy integration between the economy, society and the environment, a sustainable land and natural resources management system, a sustainable energy and industry policy and implementation mechanisms for sustainable development at both the national and local levels.’

‘The Commission will also design the general orientation of Korea's policies and strategies for sustainable development, in response to the changing international movement for environmental protection...[and]...will contribute to the international efforts to promote the protection of the global environment and to pass onto the next generation a pleasant and clean environment.’

‘      'The Commission must comply with the President's request for advice on the following affairs:

  •       Matters related to establishing direction and planning of major policy for which development and conservation should be taken into consideration simultaneously;
  •       Matters related to the formulation and implementation of the plans to put into practice Agenda 21;
  •       Matters related to the domestic implementation schemes of and corresponding strategies to major international conventions on environment including UNFCCC; and
  • Other matters on environmentally-friendly and sustainable development for which the President may request advice.’


The Commission has established six Subcommittees:

  • Land Preservation;
  • Water Resources;
  • Ecology Health;
  • Energy;
  • Industry & Environment; and
  • International & Regional Cooperation.

Furthermore, the ‘Head Committee’ reviews the policy proposals submitted by Expert Committees or research teams and provides advice to the President.

Expert Committees run research teams to prepare and review policy proposals in each subject area; and the Special Committee for Conflict Coordination develops a conflict management and prevention system, and provides advice to the President, over ongoing public conflicts.

Major Accomplishments

The 1st and the 2nd Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development adopted 14 policy advice reports including ‘Plans for Organization of Local Commissions on Sustainable Development and Institutionalization of Promoting the Local Agenda’.

As a part of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning, the 3rd Commission promoted 6 road maps on building conflict management systems; applying alternative conflict management processes; making sustainable energy and industrial policies; establishing sustainable water management policies; building sustainable territory and nature management systems; and working out sustainable development strategies.

Setting the goal as "spreading the concept of sustainable development to the government, to citizens, and to enterprises", the 4th Commission has promoted the three strategies of materializing and implementing a vision of sustainable development; intensifying capability of governance; and building assessment systems of economy, society, and environmental sustainability.

Composition and Membership

The government declared the establishment of the Presidential Commission on Sustainable Development on the National Environment Day, June 5, 2000. The Environment Ministry’s website indicates that the Commission is still operational, though little substantive information is available.

(2006) - More than half of the ministers in the government participate in the PCSD, along with members of industry and NGOs. The chair is always an NGO member.

The ‘Head Committee’ comprises 35 members; The ‘Special Committee for Conflict Coordination’ 50 members, including appointed members of the Head Committee and the others recommended by the provinces or NGOs; and ‘Expert Committees’ consist of members of the Head Committee and related experts.

Role and Functions

  • advising on government policy or making policy recommendations, including NSDS; and
  • stakeholder engagement.