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Multilateral Environment Diplomacy
Cooperation with GGGI(Global Green Growth Institute)
The Korean government has led the establishment of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) as part of its efforts to spread the green growth agenda and to contribute to the international community’s cooperation toward a green economy. Established in 2012 as an international organization, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) expanded its membership to 37 states with the accession of Kyrgyz Republic in May 2020. GGGI is assisting developing countries in addressing climate change, establishing and implementing green growth strategies and capacity building. GGGI strengthened its recognition as an international organization when it was granted Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligibility status by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) in June 2013 and received United Nations General Assembly observer status in December 2013. Furthermore, GGGI heightened its competitiveness by qualifying as a Public International Organization (PIO) eligible for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) financing opportunities and was awarded an A+ rating by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in its Annual Review.
The Korean government actively engaged in GGGI meetings and consultations with the Secretariat as well as member states to support GGGI’s efforts to improve its project implementation and governance. As Vice-chair of the Assembly and Council of GGGI and Audit Contact Point, Korea made constructive efforts towards GGGI’s efficient decision-making and transparent organizational management. Meanwhile, the Korean government will continue to support GGGI so that it may become an even more competitive international organization leading global green growth.
Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030(P4G)
P4G is a global initiative launched by Denmark on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017 in order to promote public-private partnerships in 5 key areas (water, energy, circular economy, cities, food and agriculture) for green economy to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) and to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Currently, 12 country partners (Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Mexico, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Chile, Kenya, Columbia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa), international organizations (C40, GGGI, WEF, WRI, IFC, etc.), private companies and civil society organizations are participating in P4G.
President Moon Jae-in attended the first P4G Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2018. In his keynote speech he emphasized international solidarity and inclusiveness to overcome the environment challenges. Also, he attended the UN Climate Action Summit and preparatory meeting for the P4G summit in New York in September 2019 where he officially announced that Korea would host the next P4G summit. While preparing to host P4G summit in 2021, the Korean government is committed to strengthening international solidarity in tackling climate change and driving inclusive growth and progress on SDGs. The Korean government is also endeavoring to promote public-private partnerships with P4G partner countries, establish a professional network, create business models and disseminate best practices through the P4G National Platform launched in July 2018.
Strengthening International Cooperation for Environmental Protection
Global environmental issues cover a wide range of areas including air, ecosystems, ocean, and hazardous waste and chemical substances. More than 160 international conventions are in effect under the UN and OECD. Korea has acceded to a number of leading international conventions on the protection of the environment and has taken part in the discussion of, and response to, such global environmental issues as the protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of resources and protection of marine ecosystems, international management of chemical and toxic substances through these conventions.
The Korean government actively participated in the discussion of global cooperation on environmental protection and conservation such as the Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific(January 2019 in Singapore), Conference of the Parties of the Basel·Rotterdam·Stockholm Convention (May 2019 in Geneva), Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification(September 2019 in New Delhi) and the OECD Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum(November 2019 in Paris). In particular, Korea attended the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly (Nairobi, in March 2019) which was held under the theme “Innovative solutions of environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production” and shared our continuous efforts to address the environmental challenges while stressing the need for international partnership to tackle urgent issues such as climate change and trans boundary air pollution. Furthermore, the Korean government has strengthened cooperation with the international community to protect the peoples’ health and the environment from the risk of mercury and mercuric compound exposure by ratifying the Minamata Convention on Mercury in November 2019.
Marine debris, especially marine plastic waste, has become an important environmental issue in the international society. In this light, the Republic of Korea is making efforts to reduce marine debris on bilateral and multilateral levels.
Green Round Table to Enhance Cooperation Among Environment Stakeholders
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the “Green Round Table” in November 2016 to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation between international organizations and domestic agencies related to climate change, environment and green economy issues. By 2019, six rounds of the Green Round Table were held.
When Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark visited Korea, celebrating 60 years of diplomatic ties between Korea and Denmark, the fifth Green Round Table held in Seoul on May 21, 2019. Under the title of ‘Korea-Denmark Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) Seminar’, sessions of the fifth Green Round Table focused on facilitating private-public partnerships and sharing best practices. Participants also discussed measures on addressing circular economy, water, sustainable cities and clean energy.
In preparation for 2020, a key year for climate action and implementation of the Paris Agreement, the sixth Green Round Table was held in Seoul on September 6, 2019, under the theme of “Implementation of the Paris Agreement by Green Insiders” in the form of a simulated climate change negotiations. Participating students shared their opinions on mitigation, finance and adaptation agendas to tackle the challenges of climate change.
Through the Green Round Table, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide more opportunities for students to take part in environmental programmes while strengthening cooperation among environment related international organizations, institutions and businesses to achieve green economy and sustainable development goals.