Korea's response to climate change negotiations was more active and proactive than that of any other country in the world, which helped Korea establish an image of green country. An ultimate goal of climate change negotiations is to become a low carbon country. Thus, Korea, which is striving to do away with a wrong fixed idea ‘Economic growth is emission of greenhouse gases’, is implementing various environmental policies for turning into a low carbon country based on Green Growth as a long-term vision.

By declaring Low Carbon Green Growth on August 15, 2008, the government established a new national vision as Green Power, and the Ministry of Environment has been implementing the plans after announcing action plans for Green Growth in the area of environment. In order to realize green growth, strategies, technology and resources for supporting green growth are required. Only when these three conditions are met, green growth can be realized. Thus, Korea is implementing or planned to implement varied policies including 'Framework Act on Green Growth', 'Act on Smart Grid', '4 Major Rivers Project', 'Act on Greenhouse Gases Emission Trading' setting a goal for reducing greenhouse gases (30% reduction compared to estimated emission), etc. as a strategy for reducing greenhouse gases and realizing green growth. The government also established Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and is supporting the Building of Green Growth Knowledge Platform, at which OECD, UNEP and World Bank are participating.

As part of response to post-2012 and post-2020 New Climate Regime, Korea suggested NAMA Registry, an online registry of reporting developing countries' voluntary actions for reduction COP 15 Copenhagen Congress. As a consequence  this proposal was reflected in the agreement of COP16 Cancun Conference of the Parties. Voluntary efforts of developing countries for greenhouse gases reduction can be recognized through the online registry. Therefore, NAMA Registry is expected to help voluntary reduction efforts of countries including Korea not requiring any assistance recognized by the international community.

In October, 2012, Korea succeeded in attracting Green Climate Fund (GCF) planned to be established for raising resources responding to climate change. Green Climate Fund is an international financial organization planned to be established by the international community to cope with climate change in an effective way. As it is the most important and practical task to raise sufficient resources for coping with climate change, the 17th Conference of the Parties held in Durban, South Africa, last year decided to establish the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Korea successfully held this fund's 2nd meeting of the board in Songdo, Incheon when Korea succeeded in attracting this fund. Korea expressed the most aggressive intention of donation including assistance of initial operating expenses among candidate countries, and this intention was reflected in Durban Agreement. As a result of this effort, the country successfully hosted the GCF. In addition to this, the government's promotion of North East Asia Climate Partnership helped the country establish an image as a country leading Green Growth and will help our green industry advance into the overseas markets. This Partnership will pay attention to varied projects including water resources management, low carbon city, forests, new renewable energy and waste treatment.

As Korea is classified as one of major emitters, the country is most likely to be reclassified as one of obligatory reduction countries. Thus, the government has been implementing proactive and effective greenhouse gas reduction policies including the introduction of emission trading system. However, reduction has room for further discussion because it can accompany stagnation of economic growth and interests of different areas are complicated. Thus, our society should resolve possible problems by adjusting the direction and stages of reduction. The Ministry of Environment is seeking a new direction and drawing up our negotiation strategy by holding seminars or forums and listening to opinions from industrial, academic and government communities. The ministry is also seeking systematic reduction policies including Greenhouse Gas Center checking greenhouse gases in real time to secure credibility and the building of greenhouse gas database. Korea will raise its national status as a green power by accomplishing 30% reduction goal compared to BAU (business as usual) by 2020 announced in 2009, pro-actively responding to the building of Climate Regime through faithful efforts for reduction and arbitrating different opinions from developed countries and developing countries.

To take the lead in climate negotiations, the country successfully held Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting suggesting political directions for reaching a settlement of negotiations at the COP18 Conference of the Parties from October 21 to October 23, 2012. This Pre-COP18 Ministerial Meeting was the first large scale meeting on climate change at which environment ministers from around 40 countries participated. Korea led discussions so that detailed action plans can be drawn in each agenda of Climate Change Convention and different opinions concerning greenhouse gas reduction level and reduction performance system of advanced and developing countries can be settled smoothly. Minister level delegates from the countries made efforts to seek ways of settling difficult reality in climate change crisis management and to regather political will. As a consequence, this conference served as an important guidance for COP18 Doha Conference of the Parties.

Last modified : 2013-10-24 19:54

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