Korea eyes era of ‘green growth 2.0’

Shin Boo-nam, ambassador for climate change (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Despite concerns that it has weakened its commitment, Korea remains determined to fight global warming by pushing through carbon reduction projects at home and boosting international cooperation, the nation’s ambassador for climate change said.

In recent months, criticism has mounted over the new administration’s relative lack of interest in advancing Seoul’s much-touted climate initiative, which hit its stride under former President Lee Myung-bak with his 2008 “low carbon, green growth” vision.

But Shin Boo-nam, a top environmental expert at the Foreign Ministry, rather envisions a big leap forward in the country’s environmental activities in the coming years as it follows through on existing emissions pledges and carbon-cutting programs.

“The Park Geun-hye government, too, sees sustainable development as a national goal and is looking into how to go about it, in which green growth is a key tool along with support for other developing countries,” Shin said in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.

At climate talks in Warsaw this week, he would take part in discussions to create a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol and on the financing and operation of the Global Climate Fund, whose secretariat is located in Incheon.

“If we develop those bilateral mechanisms, Korea may be able to play a critical role in future global climate negotiations,” Shin said.

“As a major economy and major emitter, we see high expectations from other countries given our emissions reduction pledges and hosting of international agencies such as the GCF and the Global Green Growth Institute.”

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