President Moon Jae-in on Dec. 18, 2018 called for increased incentives for businesses that better protect the environment, stressing the need to protect the environment and also promote economic growth.
The call came at a meeting held at the government complex in Sejong, located some 120 kilometers south of Seoul, where the Ministry of Environment briefed the president on its policy objectives for next year.
"I ask the environment ministry to come up with a new game changer that will provide more benefits to companies in the economic sense so companies that better manage the environment will get more investment and create more profits," the president said, according to pool reports.
The president highlighted the importance of protecting the environment, saying it is the people's basic right to breathe clean air and drink clean water.
Still, he also stressed the need to ensure economic development at the same time.
"When considering that the clean air industry, such as environmentally friendly cars, renewable energy and air purifiers, is becoming a new growth engine, we realize a new era of coexistence between nature and industrialization has come," Moon said in the meeting, according to the pool reports.
"I believe we now need a different view of the environment, that it is not the subject of regulation but a new growth engine in the era of the fourth industrial revolution," he said.
While earlier meeting with officials from the commerce ministry, the president promised full government support for clean energy vehicles.
"To create a new growth engine, such as electric cars and fuel cell vehicles, we need groundbreaking support, and the government is fully determined (to provide such support)," he was quoted as saying.
Moon also hinted at additional support for clean energy car producers and developers.
The president noted the importance of price competitiveness for new products, such as fuel cell cars.
"In order to do that, we must expand the local demand (for fuel cell cars) to enhance our production capability and price competitiveness," he said. (Yonhap)