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Opening Remarks by H.E. Amb. Lee Taeho Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Occasion of international Conference on Hydrogen 2020, 7 October 2020, Seoul

  • Date : 2020-10-12 10:07:32
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Statement by H.E. Amb. Lee Taeho
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea  on the Occasion of international Conference on Hydrogen 2020,    
October 7, 2020

Dr. Fatih Birol (파티 비롤), Executive Director of the International Energy Agency,

Ambassadors and other colleagues in the diplomatic corps in Korea,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to hereby declare the opening of the International Conference on Hydrogen 2020.

Following the success of the first conference last year, I am indeed delighted to be hosting this second conference even in the midst of the challenges posed by COVID-19.
I send the warmest welcome to all the speakers and participants, most of whom are joining this Conference virtually.

The impacts of COVID-19 are deeply felt in the world energy market, like every aspect of our lives.  The world is going through the unprecedented demand shock in the market, which does not seem likely to rebound soon.

According to the IEA Global Energy Review 2020 issued in April, however, whilst all traditional energy sources have been negatively affected by COVID-19, renewable energy is the only energy source for which the global demand has increased during this time.

Against  this backdrop, countries are placing a low-carbon energy transition at the heart of their recovery plan, as is the case with the “Green Deal” adopted by the European Union.
In July, the Korean Government, for its part, announced its own version of a sustainable recovery plan called the‘New Deal’, with the ‘Digital New Deal’ and ‘Green New Deal’ being its two pillars. Through this new vision we aim to achieve a sustainable economic recovery and to create green jobs by promoting a green transition in infrastructure, a low-carbon and decentralized energy supply, and innovation in the green industry.

In this regard, hydrogen is gaining increasing recognition as one of the core energies for the recovery plan.  Last year, the Korean government presented a “Roadmap for Hydrogen Economy.”  For five years from this year, we will seek to supply 200,000 hydrogen vehicles, install 450 charging facilities, and set up the hydrogen producing infrastructure, as part of the Green New Deal.  

Korea has indeed been playing a leading role in the field of hydrogen cars and fuel cells. I am confident that Korean companies will continue to pursue innovation, creating and expanding markets as they work together with partners around the world.

The ultimate goal pursued through a hydrogen economy is a carbon-free society.  To realize such a vision, we need to exert even greater efforts to develop hydrogen production technologies, expand hydrogen-producing facilities and introduce the safe transportation method of hydrogen.

The upcoming sessions will provide timely and appropriate opportunities to discuss the vital issue of hydrogen supply chain and hydrogen mobility.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I look forward to seeing this Conference serving as an important platform to discuss ways and means to further promote the development of hydrogen energy for our future.

I would, once again, like to offer my sincere appreciation to Dr. Birol, the Executive Director of the IEA, who will share with us the IEA’s vision for moving forward towards a future hydrogen society. My deep thanks also go to all the speakers and distinguished participants from around the world and all those who worked so hard in organizing this meaningful Conference.

Thank you.