Korea Global Adaptaion Week
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me a great pleasure to open the first Korea Global Adaptation Week here in this beautiful city of Incheon.
Let me begin by expressing my deep appreciation to the representatives of the three organizers of this event - Mayor Park Namchoon of Incheon Metropolitan City, Deputy Executive Secretary Ovais Sarmad of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and President Yoon Jeyong of the Korea Environment Institute.
I am also delighted to welcome some of the distinguished guests in attendance today:
- Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the eighth Secretary General of the United Nations;
- Mr. Yannick Glemarec, the Executive Secretary of the Green Climate Fund;
- and many leaders and experts from IGOs, NGOs and civil society who are on the frontier in the global fight against climate change.
It was here in Songdo Convensia last October, where IPCC adopted the “Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius.” This report reminds us of the grave consequences that we will face if we exceed the 1.5 degrees mark. And it is a trade-off. Less investment in mitigation actions today will only lead to a higher cost of adaptation tomorrow.
And slowly, we are coming to terms with what this higher cost in adaptation entails. In 2007, UNFCCC projected the adaptation finance needs for developing countries would start around 28 billion dollars annually by 2030. More recently, UNEP’s estimation is up at 300 billion dollars annually by 2050. And the cost estimates for adaptation continue to rise.
We are also beginning to understand the intrinsic challenges in formulating and implementing adaptation measures. Adaptation is not simply about addressing the prevailing climate damages. It is about building society’s resilience as a whole, taking into consideration of those who are most vulnerable with the least capacity to adapt. Adaptation policies need to be effective, but in order for it to be sustainable, it also has to be efficient and equitable. And this adds to the complexity of adaptation policies.
For this reason, I believe it is all the more meaningful that Korea is holding the First Adaptation Week. I welcome many interesting and significant adaptation agenda that will be discussed during the following days. I, especially, look forward to innovative adaptation policies that embrace latest technological developments in artificial intelligence and big data.
The Republic of Korea has developed its first national adaptation plan in 2009. We are now implementing the 2nd national adaptation plan and more than 240 adaptation plans at the local level in close coordination. I hope our experience in adaptation policies can enrich the discussion here in Songdo.
I thank you, once again, for your attendance and support for this meaning event and look forward to the fruitful discussions. Thank you.