​© 2019 ICLEI EAST ASIA SECRETARIAT

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The ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability East Asia Secretariat is generously supported by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. 

  14/F, Seoul Global Center Building, 38 Jongro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 03188, South Korea

Tel +82-2-3789-0496  |  Fax +82-2-3789-0497  |  www.iclei.org/eastasia

Population

10,290,000

Area

605.21 km2    (233.67 sq mi)

Located in the northern region, Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. Roughly 9,700,000 people live in the metropolis with population kept at a relatively steady rate. According to the Seoul Development Institute, over 50% of Seoul’s population consider air pollution to be the most imminent environmental issue in the city.

Current Air Quality Situation
PM2.5 > WHO Air Quality Guidelines x 2.4 (24 μg/m3 in 2014)
Air Quality Action Areas
Steps Taken

2003 Special Act on the Improvement of Air Quality in the Seoul Metropolitan Area

  • 1st Seoul Metropolitan Air Quality Improvement Plan (2005-2014)

    • Goal: drop PM10 levels from 69 µg/m3 to 40 µg/m3 and NO2 levels from 38 ppbv to 22 ppbv.

    • Outcome: the annual average PM10 concentrations decreased from 70.0 μg/m3 in 2001 to 44.4 μg/m3 in 2011and 46 μg/m3in 2014, yet it was still at least twice than that recommended by the WHO Air Quality Guidelines.)

  • 2nd Seoul Metropolitan Air Quality Control Master Plan (2015-2024)

    • Goals: decrease PM10 to 30 µg/m3 and PM2.5 to 20 µg/m3 with a required 35-45% reduction of these particle emissions by 2024.

Increased international cooperation

  • A meeting between South Korean, Chinese, and Japanese ministers took place in 2013, announcing a plan to develop cooperation between the countries in order to prevent rises in PM concentrations.

  • A partnership between researchers in the United States and South Korea is conducting an international air quality field study in Korea (KORUS-AQ).

  • Academic institutions in Seoul are completing research and hold Asian emissions inventories to take stock on the emissions of SO2, NO2, PM2.5, PM10, and main GHGs.

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