The Ministry of Public Administration and Security (MOPAS) said Thursday that people depend on its online services for document issuance 180 million times throughout last year.
If they had to visit public offices in person instead of using the Web-based services, the ministry estimated that up to 11,554 tons of additional carbon would have been emitted last year due to increased traffic and waste of paper.
In order to reduce that much carbon, widely believed to be responsible for global climate change, MOPAS said that approximately 970,000 trees would be necessary to counteract the gas emissions.
``Last year, 31.8 percent of document issuance was commissioned online, up from 25.1 percent a year before. We plan to increase the proportion to 40 percent this year,’’ MOPAS official Shin In-chul said.
``Such efforts will help the country reduce carbon emissions, one of the biggest concerns across the world. Promotion of online infrastructure is a good way to help protect the environment.’’
MOPAS has ratcheted up the number of official documents issuable online to about 2,300 late last month from the previous norm of some 500.
As far as the electronic-government initiative is concerned, the country has been touted as a leading example as amply demonstrated by the biannual research of the United Nations.
In the 2010 UN e-Government Survey, Korea topped the podium by garnering the highest scores in such segments as the government’s website capabilities and user involvement.
After assessing the government’s web infrastructure of all the 192 member states, the UN ranked Korea first followed by the United States and Canada.