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(LEAD) S. Korea, UAE to expand ties in hydrogen industry, reduce carbon footprint

(ATTN: REPLACES photo)
By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Thursday it has agreed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to make joint efforts to venture into sustainable resources, such as hydrogen, in line with their goal to reduce carbon footprint.

Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo held a virtual meeting with his counterpart, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, who serves as the technology minister of the UAE, declaring that the two countries will expand ties beyond traditional sectors, such as oil, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

“We are actively rolling out Green New Deal projects. As the UAE also has been implementing the Energy Strategy 2050, the two countries can broaden ties in the green energy segment, including hydrogen,” Sung said during the meeting.

The Green New Deal is one of four pillars of South Korea’s efforts to invest 160 trillion won (US$142 billion) by 2025 under the New Deal drive that will create 1.9 million jobs and kick-start the coronavirus-hit economy.

They inked a memorandum of understanding to bolster exchanges in technologies and trades related to hydrogen.

Hydrogen is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels as automobiles running on the resource only create water in the process of generating power. Hydrogen can be produced as a by-product of industrial facilities, including petrochemical plants as well.

The move comes as South Korea plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The UAE, meanwhile, was South Korea’s 24th-largest export partner in 2020.

Outbound shipments to the Middle East nation reached $3.6 billion in 2020, up 5.5 percent from a year earlier. South Korea mostly shipped auto parts to the UAE, while importing crude and other petrochemical products.

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