The City of Seoul seeks to reduce carbon emissions and localized air pollution under a voluntary civic engagement program whereby citizens are rewarded for reduced driving.

A voluntary program in the city of Seoul, South Korea, rewards citizens who reduce their driving compared to kilometers driven the year before. Incentives are given in the form of points, which can be used to pay for local taxes, purchase mobile gift cards, or donate to a local fund that fights energy poverty by installing energy-saving units like LED lights and mini solar panels. The city expects to pay out $1.36 million annually in program incentives.

10,000 tons of CO2 is estimated to be cut by the program annually

Cities100 – 2017

A two-year trial period resulted in doubling the carbon emission reductions compared to Seoul’s Voluntary No-driving Days program. The Eco-driving mileage program, launched in April 2017, aims to enlist 50,000 members each year and maintain 250,000 members after 2022. This program directly engages citizens in the city’s efforts to tackle climate change. Members of the program are expected to build better driving habits and acquire better understanding of climate change.

The challenge

The City of Seoul boasts a highly effective public transport system. Even so, the city still struggles with very high levels of localized air pollution and CO2 emissions caused in part by the increasing number of private vehicles.


Environmental By inducing less driving, the program will improve Seoul’s air quality by reducing both fine particle pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Social The program was designed with the knowledge that in order for it to be successful, a meaningful number of people would have to willingly accept daily inconveniences, which is why participating citizens are rewarded as environmental problem-solvers.

Health The program is designed to cut vehicle driving, which will improve public health, as transportation is responsible for 37% of air pollution in Seoul.

About Seoul

Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of the Republic of Korea (commonly known as South Korea). Seoul is the world’s 16th largest city and houses about half of the country’s population of 51.44 million people with 678,102 international residents. Today, Seoul is considered a leading and rising global city, resulting from an economic boom called the Miracle on the Han River which transformed it to the world’s 4th largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$845.9 billion in 2014.

Global Goals addressed