Key challenges for overcoming COVID-19 focusing on economic recovery

Seoul, November 3, 2020, CPE-GGGI Seminar on Green New Deal

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SEOUL, Republic of Korea; November 3, 2020 – Today, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment (CPE) co-hosted a seminar on Korea’s Green New Deal. Key speakers from international organizations, embassies, academia, & policy makers gathered in person and virtually to share policy challenges and necessary  international cooperation to establish sustainable development in the Era of the New Normal. GGGI Director-General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, moderated the event and delivered a presentation to introduce each session. The Honorable In-soon Nam MP, Acting President of Korean Parliamentary League on Children, Population and Environment, delivered the opening remarks of the event.

The keynote speech of the event was delivered by H.E. Ban Ki-moon, GGGI President & Chair and Eight UN Secretary-General, during the opening session. “Climate change is too big, too great, and too urgent to delegate governments and public institutions alone. Yes, change can be uncertain and hard at times. There is always a learning curve, but we will all have to adapt, evolve, and pivot our ways sooner or later, and those who make the change first will be the ones leading those that join later,” explains H.E. Ban Ki-moon.

“If we work together, we can make 2020 the year where we look back, where future generations look back, and say we seized the opportunities hidden in the challenges and turned the tide for climate change and green growth.”

The keynote session of the seminar highlighted key challenges for overcoming COVID-19, focusing on economic recovery.  To begin the session, GGGI Director-General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, emphasized the importance of renewable energy for job creation, sharing statistics from a recent study that indicate how green jobs from renewable energy projects greatly outnumber  jobs from fossil fuel projects by a factor of 2-5.

Following this opening note, Vice President of Climate & Economics at the World Resources Institute, Helen Mountford, delivered a keynote presentation on Overcoming COVID-19: Sustainable Action – Positive Impact, sharing “In South Korea, it is cheaper to invest in new renewables than build new coal and will be cheaper to invest in new renewables than to operate existing coal in 2022”.

Also, during her presentation, Ms. Mountford thanked and congratulated the Republic of Korea on their recent climate change ambitions, “The Net-Zero target by 2050 reflects the Republic of Korea’s climate leadership”.  She continued by explaining four key necessities for a strong economic recovery, including green jobs; a quick economic boost + long-term sustainable growth; a strong focus on inclusivity & reducing inequalities; and an increase in resiliency to future shocks.

The 2nd keynote presentation of the session was delivered by Stephan Klingebiel, Director of the UNDP Seoul Policy Center, to provide his insights on a Global Green New Deal: Lessons From the Republic of Korea’s Crisis Management. During his presentation, he highlighted the need for integrated & long-term multilateral cooperation and offered suggestions to build back better, including: investing in green recovery policies to encourage renewable energy; integrating COVID-19 recovery plans with countries’ long-term strategies; and investing in resilient agricultural systems and forest conservation.

Participants of Session 1 focused their discussion on Green Growth in the New Normal. The Danish Climate Ambassador, H.E. Tomas Anker Christensen, delivered the first presentation of the session to share Denmark’s experience on Climate Ambitions & Green Growth, highlighting Denmark’s vision for 2030 to achieve 100% renewable electricity & 70% reduction in CO2 emissions through a series of action plans.

The following presentation was delivered by Dr. Adam Bandt, Member for Melbourne & Leader of the Australian Greens. During his presentation, he linked how Korea’s Green New Deal can create Australia’s Green New Deal, emphasizing the current public desire for stronger climate ambitions.

Session 2 of the CPE-GGGI Seminar focused on Policy Challenges for the Protection of Vulnerable Entrepreneurs, including women and youth, in post COVID-19 recovery. GGGI Director-General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, highlighted GGGI’s work in Kiribati and the Philippines aimed at building resilience among micro-businesses & agripreneurs.