1. Mr. Chung Keeyong, Director-General for Climate Change, Energy and Environmental Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with Ms. Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for the Asia and Pacific Department of the European External Action Service of the European Commission, held the second meeting of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the European Union (EU) Working Group on Energy, Environment and Climate Change on Thursday, October 24 at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two sides shared policies and discussed concrete ways for cooperation projects in each area.
○ During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways to step up cooperation in the areas of circular economy, air pollution, offshore wind energy plans, cooperation in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and gas markets, energy efficiency, hydrogen energy and negotiations regarding response to climate change.
2. The two sides shared the ROK’s 2nd basic plans for climate change and the EU’s European Green Deal, and noted the importance of a comprehensive approach across all the sectors of the society at this second meeting.
3. During each session, the two sides had in-depth discussions on current key issues and matters of mutual interest in order to promote cooperation in the areas of energy, environment and climate change.
○ Regarding the environment, the two sides mainly discussed circular economy and plastic issues, enhanced international cooperation in addressing air pollution, and shared their experiences in handling hazardous chemicals and wastes.
○ The two sides also agreed on the importance of enhancing energy efficiency and increasing the proportions of renewable energy, and discussed helpful ways for offshore wind energy plans and LNG markets to accompany the transition into clean energy.
○ In responding to climate change, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation in bilateral and multilateral contexts, and shared mutual expectations on the 25th and 26th Conferences of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
○ Furthermore, the two sides took note of the outcomes of the ROK-EU workshop held on October 23 that aims to draw low-carbon development strategies by 2050, and discussed new cooperation projects such as holding conferences on climate and trade, and cooperation between national councils of the ROK and the EU relating to climate and clean energy.
4. The ROK side explained its main agendas for responding to climate change such as a swift transition to low-carbon economy; doubling the amounts of green climate fund as part of its pledges; holding the 2nd Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) Summit in the ROK in June 2020; and pushing ahead with a project for designating the International Day of Blue Sky to be adopted as a UN resolution, all of which were mentioned by President Moon Jae-in in his address at the UN Climate Action Summit in September this year. The EU side welcomed the upcoming P4G Summit, and expressed expectation that the Summit will serve as an opportunity to strengthen bonds of the international community in preparing for climate actions.
5. The meeting is seen to have served as an opportunity to broaden the scope of cooperation to global multilateral issues such as energy, environment and climate change on the basis of steadfast strategic partnership between the ROK and the EU, and to further step up bilateral cooperation as shown by discussions on substantive cooperation in each area.
○ Ahead of the introduction of the new climate regime through the implementation of the Paris Agreement in 2020, the two sides enhanced mutual understanding of domestic efforts to respond to climate change and relevant policies such as preparing for the long-term low-carbon development strategies by 2050, and explored ways to work together in the future.