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KOR

Press Releases

ROK-China Joint Committee for Cooperation on Climate Change Holds 2nd Meeting

Date
2017-07-26
hit
1433

1. On the sidelines of a meeting of the Republic of Korea-China joint committee for cooperation on climate change on July 25, the ROK head delegate to the meeting, Ambassador for Climate Change Kim Chan-woo, together with minister-level Special Representative for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua of China, attended the dinner held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Over the dinner, the two sides exchanged views on negotiations on climate change and their respective, relevant policies.

° The welcome dinner on July 25 was hosted by Special Representative for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

° The ROK delegation was composed of officials of climate change-related government agencies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, as well as civilian experts. The Chinese side was comprised of members of the NDRC, which oversees climate change affairs, and other relevant experts.

2. At the event, Ambassador Kim shared with the Chinese side the new ROK government’s policies regarding climate and environment, including the envisioned shutdown of old thermoelectric power plants. Meanwhile, Special Representative Xie spoke of the US declaration of its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and other recent international moves, as well as China’s policy in the field.

° Special Representative Xie, commending the ROK for its leadership in the field of climate change, stressed that despite their possible gap in views in other sectors, it is important for the ROK and China to work together to promote shared interests in the areas of climate and environment.

° Ambassador Kim, concurring with the Special Representative in the view and citing the proverb, “After a storm comes a calm,” stated that the two countries should work together to promote shared interests in the area of climate change.

3. Special Representative Xie brought attention to the fact that China, recognizing that effective responses to climate change could help achieve economic growth, improve the quality of people’s lives and create jobs, is seeking green growth, citing as an example non-fossil fuels accounting for 13.1% of all the energy sources in 2017, up from 7.4% in 2005.

° In particular, the Special Representative, referring to the serious air quality issue -- PM 2.5 in the winter-- in Beijing, stressed that China is doubling its efforts to resolve the issue.

4. The ROK and Chinese delegations agreed to work closely together at the negotiations on implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement at Conferences of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), while continuously implementing the Agreement. Special Representative Xie, bringing attention to China’s plan to launch a nation-wide carbon emission trading market in late 2017 after the completion of a pilot project in the greenhouse emissions trading scheme in seven provinces, highlighted the need for cooperation among carbon markets of the ROK, China and Japan.

° Ambassador Kim pointed out that in the ROK as well, the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme is serving as a good mechanism covering 2/3 of the total greenhouse gas emitted in the ROK. In addition, calling the proposed trilateral cooperation a good idea, he suggested that the three countries review trade regulations and discuss other relevant matters over time.

5. At the meeting of the ROK-China joint committee for cooperation on climate change, the two sides, led by Ambassador for Climate Change Kim Chan-woo and Special Representative for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua of the NDRC, respectively, exchanged views on recent international moves regarding climate change and major issues to be covered at negotiations to come in a follow-up to the Paris Agreement. In addition, they agreed to work closely together at the negotiations.

° In particular, the ROK delegation stressed that cooperation in the efforts to reduce fine dust will bring multiple co-benefits to the ROK and China by helping the two countries curtail greenhouse gas emissions and thereby cope with climate change; promote health of their citizens; and pave the way for a closer strategic cooperative partnership between them. On that note, the ROK side asked the Chinese government to pay attention to the matter.

6. Earlier in the day, ahead of the Joint Committee meeting, the ROK delegation visited the center for ROK-China joint research on air quality, during which the group was briefed on the center’s work and offered encouragement to the personnel of the center. On July 26, the delegation visited Shenwu, a company with technology for an environment-friendly use of coal.


* unofficial translation