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The Seoul city government said Thursday (November 19) its energy saving program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 247,000 tons from April through September.

Members of Seoul’s “Eco-Mileage” program reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 247,137 tons, up 70 percent from the same period last year, creating the same effect as planting 37.4 million 30-year-old pine trees each absorbing 6.6 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year, the city government said.

The Eco-Mileage program gives miles for cutting back the use of electricity, water and gas, which can then be redeemed in cash or used to pay taxes or utility fees or to buy eco-friendly products.

As of September, some 2.09 million individuals and 78,000 organizations were members of the program, according to the city government.

By district, the central Jung Ward reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 11.4 percent compared to the average of the last two years, the highest of all 25 wards.

The average across all wards was 4.5 percent.

The city government attributed the reductions to citizen’s efforts and less economic activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will combine Eco-Mileage with (another program that gives miles for less travel by car), and expand it to bicycle use and recycling to encourage reductions of greenhouse gas emissions,” Kim Yeon-ji, a city official overseeing environmental policy, said. (Yonhap)

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