1. Ambassador for Climate Change Yoo Yeon-chul was elected Vice-Chair of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC, and the Paris Agreement during the 50th sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies held on June 17.
° The SBI is a permanent, pivotal subsidiary body to the UN climate change regime that supervises the implementation of the entire UN climate change regime, including the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. It reviews specific ways to implement and achieve the main goals of these climate change conventions, including mitigation, adaptation, transparency, finance, technology and capacity-building; and seeks to raise mitigation targets of individual countries.
° The SBI is expected to play a pivotal role in supporting the global implementation of the new climate regime built through the adoption of the Paris Agreement.
2. The election of Ambassador Yoo as Vice-Chair of the SBI is seen to reflect a positive view on the Republic of Korea’s strong commitment to responding to climate change, its willingness to work with the international community and its contributions in the field; and the international community’s expectations of the ROK government’s role.
° The ROK has proactively joined the international community’s efforts to respond to climate change, including by leading the establishment of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and hosting the Green Climate Fund (GCF) headquarters.
° In addition, recognized for its expertise in the field of climate change adaptation and its contributions to the international community, the ROK is actively playing a bridging role between developed countries and developing countries, including by hosting an International Forum on National Adaptation Plans under the UNFCCC in April.
3. As the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC in 2019 will cover in detail the implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement adopted at the COP24 held in 2018, the SBI is expected to play a more pivotal role in supporting the Paris Agreement, which will be implemented from 2020.
° In particular, ahead of the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, in 2019, international events, including the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in September and the pledging conference for the first replenishment of the GCF in November, will take place before the COP25 in December in order to strengthen the will of the global community to respond to climate change and render financial support.
4. During his two-year tenure as Vice-Chair, Ambassador Yoo will assist the SBI Chair and consult closely with the COP President and Vice-Presidents, the UNFCCC Secretariat, and the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the other Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC with regard to the SBI activities; and play a role to move relevant discussions forward.
° Since taking part in negotiations in 1991 to draft the UNFCCC, Ambassador Yoo has worked as an international environment expert, including at the posts of Director of the Environment and Science Division and Director of the Energy and Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Director-General for International Cooperation of the Committee on Green Growth; and Director-General for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Environment in the ROK. He also served as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Korean Permanent Mission to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, and ROK Ambassador to Kuwait.
° As it is essential for the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement that extensive exchanges and cooperation be pursued with not only the bodies within the UN climate change regime but also other international organizations, negotiation groups and civil societies, Ambassador Yoo plans to actively carry out his duties at the post of Vice-Chair, including by communicating closely with them.
* unofficial translation