The South Korean government has introduced a scheme to switch every lamp in every public building to energy efficient LED units by the end of the year under an ambitious plan to help stimulate the country’s flagging economy.

According to a report by HSBC bank the country will spend over £25bn on environmental projects under the Green Job Creation Plan.

The initiative aims to stimulate the country’s economy and create 960 000 jobs, of which 149 000 will be realised in 2009, mostly in construction.

South Korea’s green plans include:

  • The construction of two million green homes
  • Switching every lamp in every public building to LEDs by the end of the year
  • A £4bn package to improve energy conservation in villages, schools and homes
  • £5bn will be spent on high-speed railways
  • Over 2500 miles of bicycle routes will be constructed
  • A commitment to achieve 5% of energy from renewables by 2011, and 11% by 2030
  • Plans to plant trees to act as a carbon sink and for the construction of a wood processing plant for fuel
  • Investment in the development of electric cars by Hyundai and Kia

More controversially, the plan also includes proposals to construct a series of dams for drought alleviation

South Korea is classified as a developing country and so does not yet have binding emission caps. Nonetheless more than 80% of the plan is allocated to climate related investment. In comparison the UK spent 7% of its fiscal stimulus package on green measures

Despite South Korea’s ambitions the HSBC’s report said both China and the USA have produced much bigger stimulus packages. China will spend £150bn on green projects and infrastructure while the USA will spend £64bn.