Developing an adaptive pathway to mitigate air pollution risk for vulnerable groups in South Korea

Sugyeong Park, Sea Jin Kim, Hangnan Yu, Chul Hee Lim, Eunbeen Park, Jiwon Kim, Woo Kyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Air pollution is one of the most significant environmental hazards. The elderly, young, and poor are more vulnerable to air pollution. The risk of air pollution was assessed based on the risk framework published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in terms of three aspects: hazard, exposure, and vulnerability. This study determined the concentrations of hazardous pollutants using satellite images from 2015 at 1 km2 spatial resolution. In addition, the study identified vulnerable groups who are exposed to hazardous air pollutants. The study highlighted the degree of vulnerability based on environmental sensitivity and institutional abilities, such as mitigation and social adaption policies, using statistical data. Based on the results, Seoul City and Gyeonggi Province have low air pollution risk owing to good institutional abilities, while the western coastal area has the highest air pollution risk. Three adaption pathway scenarios were assessed in terms of the effect of increases in the budget for social adaptation policies on the level of risk. The study found that the risk can be reduced when the social adaptation budget of 2015 base level is increased by 20% in Gyeonggi Province and by 30% in the western coastal area. In conclusion, this risk assessment can support policy-making to target more vulnerable groups based on scientific evidence and to ensure environmental justice at the national level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1790
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Keywords

  • Adaptive pathway
  • Air pollution
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Spatial analysis
  • Sustainable development goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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