The money will be spent over five years and will be spent on a broad range of measures, from cutting energy use in buildings and industry to addressing transport emissions.

Solar energy, energy efficient lighting and hybrid vehicles were three of the sectors singled out for attention in a statement from the presidential office on Monday.

South Korea is Asia’s fourth largest economy and third largest importer of crude oil.

Its plans to overhaul its industry and give it a green tinge will be welcomed by other global powers in the build up to the UN climate talks being held in Copenhagen in December.

The government investment in stimulating the development of green technology will amount to 2% of the country’s GDP. Government expects its own funding to attract further investment from the private sector.

The drive for energy efficiency in industry echoes that of close ally Japan, which has also taken steps to cut carbon by tackling the emissions of its own industry rather than ‘outsourcing’ the solution by offsetting its emissions with credits from projects in developing countries.

Sam Bond

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