1. The opening ceremony of the 48th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC*) took place at Songdo Convensia in Incheon on October 1, receiving much attention. The opening ceremony brought together about 570 people, including government delegates from 135 countries, and representatives from international organizations.
* The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an international organization co-founded in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the United Nations Environment Program. It has 195 member states, and has written five assessment reports so far on the impact of climate change, and policies to respond to it.
2. At the opening ceremony, a video in which President Moon Jae-in offered congratulations was played. Participants from the ROK side included Minister of Environment Kim Eun-kyung, Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration Kim Jong-seok, and Mayor of the Incheon Metropolitan City Park Nam-chun. Participants from abroad included Chair of the IPCC Lee Hoe-sung, Deputy Secretary-General of the WMO Elena Manaenkova, UN Environment’s Acting Director of Science Division Jian Liu, Director of the Adaptation Programme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Youssef Nassef, and IPCC Secretary Abdalah Mokssit.
3. In his congratulatory video message, President Moon Jae-in said that climate change was threatening our daily lives, and it was all the more regrettable that it was having a bigger impact on developing countries and socially vulnerable populations. He also stressed that climate change was a challenge that must be solved, and the determination and action of countries across the world were needed.
o In addition, President Moon expressed hope that the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC would be adopted at the IPCC session, and a turning point would be created to commit to stronger international action. He also pledged that the Republic of Korea would also fulfill its environmental responsibilities and roles, and faithfully deliver on what it promised the international community.
4. Chair of the IPCC Lee Hoe-sung expressed appreciation to the governments and authors of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC for their full support in preparing the report, and promised that the IPCC would provide a reliable and strong summary for policymakers.
o Deputy Secretary-General of the WMO Elena Manaenkova pledged that her organization would continue to work to provide scientific information on climate change, including extreme weather. UN Environment’s Acting Director of Science Division Jian Liu expressed great expectations about the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, to be approved at the 48th session of the IPCC. Director of the Adaptation Programme of the UNFCCC Youssef Nassef said that the IPCC’s report was very important in the negotiations on climate change, and that the UNFCCC was committed to stepping up cooperation with the IPCC.
5. Minister of Environment Kim Eun-kyung reminded the participants that extreme weather phenomena were nature’s warning, and emphasized that heeding the warning, the world should work to facilitate a transformation towards a sustainable and low-carbon society.
o Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration Kim Jong-seok expressed hope that the Special Report would be approved as planned, becoming a driving force behind efforts to tackle climate change. Mayor of the Incheon Metropolitan City Park Nam-chun said that he was making efforts to turn Incheon into a green city, and hoped that valuable results would come out of the IPCC session.
6. At the 48th session of the IPCC, to be held until October 5, each sentence in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC will be reviewed, and it will be finally adopted with consent from all member states. The adopted report will be used as a key scientific basis for the Talanoa Dialogue* at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, to be held in Katowice, Poland, from December 2 to 14 this year.
* The Talanoa Dialogue is a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue used by Pacific island nations. It is a forum for dialogue to review and facilitate the implementation of the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. It takes place throughout 2018, and consists of a preparatory phase and a political phase.
* unofficial translation