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How do you spell 2050 in Korean?

 

Scott Wightman at the 2050 launch event in Korea

Scott Wightman, British Ambassador to the Republic of Korea at the 2050 launch event

It turns out exactly the same as in the UK – 2050 – thanks to the Arabic numerical system. Numbers really are a universal language. And so it seems is the idea of opening up information on future energy and emissions pathways.

The UK’s 2050 Calculator has struck a chord with teams around the world who are also thinking about how their country will generate energy in the future, and what this will mean for their greenhouse gas emissions.

We’ve already worked with China to help their government build their own version of the Calculator, so when we were contacted by Sejong University in South Korea (with a little help from our great Embassy in Seoul) to see if we could help them too we obviously said yes. With a population of around 50 million, South Korea is a much more similar economy to the UK than China is, so it turned out to be a lot easier to adapt the work.  And Sejong have added their own innovations, like the futuristic visuals for the version of the Calculator aimed at schoolchildren.

This was all launched at an event last week in Seoul, where it was welcomed by the Korean Vice-Minister of Environment as an endeavour that  “will lead to higher public awareness and more active citizen participation, and therefore contribute to sending our climate change response to the next level.” South Korea is set to implement emissions trading from 2015 so action is already underway.

Thanks to our work with China and South Korea, we know that we can help countries that are very different from the UK to build their own version of the Calculator, and start their own debate about their energy future. Next steps are taking this forward with another 10 countries – supported by the UK’s International Climate Fund. Watch this space.

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