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British Embassy Seoul supports greening a Buddhist temple

As part of the UK’s Green is GREAT campaign, the British Embassy Seoul officially unveiled the installation of solar panels at Woljeongsa temple in Korea.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Greening the temple project

As part of the UK’s Green is GREAT campaign, the British Embassy Seoul yesterday officially unveiled the installation of solar panels at Woljeongsa temple in Eastern Korea.

This project is a joint project with the Buddhist Ecological Contents Institute. After analysing the energy efficiency of three important Buddhist temples – Woljeongsa, Jogyesa and Jinkwansa – a British environmental expert chose Woljeongsa as the beneficiary of additional support.

Buddhist Abbot Monk Jung Ryum said:

I am very pleased that we can significantly save on our electricity bills as well as deploy an environmentally friendly and efficient energy system thanks to the solar panels supported by the British Embassy in Seoul and the advice of the UK green building expert. We will keep making efforts to realise a greener temple building on the success of this project.

Katrine Sasaki, Head of the Climate Change and Energy Section of the British Embassy in Seoul said:

I am pleased to support such a meaningful project ahead of the 2015 Paris Conference on climate change (COP21) in December this year. The project represents a symbol of commitment to long-term efforts to reduce carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings in South Korea. I hope others in the Buddhist community and beyond will follow Woljeongsa’s lead and join the global effort to tackle climate change.

Notes to editors

In order to minimise the risk of fire, temples located in mountainous areas are usually only allowed to use electricity for heating - this can lead to very high electricity bills. With the installation of environmentally-friendly solar panels, Woljeongsa is now able to both reduce its electricity bill, and also prevent the burning of 1.6 ton fossil fuels per year. The reduction in annual CO2 emissions will be equivalent to planting 563 trees.

The UK is leading the way on green buildings and is home to world class experts who are able to provide analysis, advice and recommendations on how to increase energy efficiency. The solar panels in Woljeongsa will provide the same amount of electricity as that consumed by two average households and can be used for up to 50 years.

Published 24 March 2015