SEOUL, Republic of Korea; August 4, 2020 — Today, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul co-hosted the Climate Talk and Net Zero 2050 event to raise awareness and understanding in Korea of climate action in New Zealand and the Pacific Island Countries.
GGGI President & Chair, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, delivered the opening remarks of the event, sharing “Climate action is for both developed and developing countries, and it can create excellent opportunities to help achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN General Assembly in 2015.”
“If we seize the opportunities now to green the recovery, we can make the best of the situation & perhaps make more progress for the implementation of the Paris Agreement than before,” explained Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
Given the circumstances brought by COVID-19, New Zealand Minister for Climate Change, H.E. James Shaw, delivered his opening remarks through video message, sharing “The global pandemic is not a reason to delay action, in fact it’s the exact opposite … climate action and recovery should happen hand in hand.” Mr. Shaw also explained a key part of developing the Zero Carbon Act. “One of the most powerful ways to create change is simply, to listen. Once you listen, you can talk to your opponent as equals, and once you do that, you can build consensus.”
The final opening remarks were delivered through video message by UN High Representative, Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu. “Climate change knows no borders. It concerns all women and girls, men and boys of our shared planet,” shared Ms. ‘Utoikamanu. “The states of LDCs and LLDCs are amongst the most vulnerable nations … Adapting in proactive ways to the foreseeable and adverse impacts of climate change is not a luxury for them. It is a necessity to survive.”
Panelists of Session 1 discussed New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Law and how the country is transitioning to implementation, while participants of Session 2 focused on the Pacific Island Countries and their progress in transitioning to a model of low emissions climate resilient development.
Craig Weise, Chief Executive for New Zealand Green Investment Finance, shared his insights about the main sources of capital and investment for green transition. “The money will come from mostly the capital market…developing different ways to make new stakeholders to join the existing market is a key to current issue. It is highly challenging for us to help others to be involved in the existing transactions and receive direct investments due to the limited access to resources.”
He also added that “Technology has huge role to play when it comes to greening our economy. We need to make sure that investment has been made properly, so that new technology can actually bring the meaningful impacts on carbon emission reduction.”
H.E. Yoo Yeon Chul, Ambassador for Climate Change, the Republic of Korea, also added the South Korea’s implementation process of net zero targets and Green New Deal. “In this unprecedented situation, new approach became more important, as COVID-19 gave us an opportunity to give up old habits and build up new habits for the achievement of low carbon climate resilient economy.” “The government of the Republic of Korea is now working on setting our specific targets to finalize our roadmap for climate actions and green transition. The recent launch of Green New Deal by the government is evolving one and it is just a start of our ambitious plan.”
“Climate Change is still here, and we get daily reminders that the Pacific is one of the most vulnerable. We cannot forget about climate change while addressing the impacts of the global pandemic,” shared Mr. Ruel Yamuna, Managing Director of the Climate Change & National Development Authority of Papua New Guinea, during the session.
Ms. Makereta Konrote, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of Fiji, shared her insights on Fiji’s progress to combat climate change, including an NDC roadmap, a pipeline of projects, and a climate change act to embed national commitments into law as a means to solidify some of the reforms for adaptation and mitigation.
Lastly, Mr. Park Jaeshin shared KOICA’s strategies and efforts in the Pacific. “KOICA is maintaining regional office in Fiji as a part of government partnership strategy and implementing different projects in this region to achieve sustainable development by responding to climate change. KOICA has also partnered GGGI to build Fiji’s capacity to develop renewable energy and green the island, so that the country can work on greenhouse reduction and achieve sustainable development.”