SEOUL –November 22, 2012 –The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea voted to approve the Establishment Agreement of the Global Green Growth Institute, making Korea the fifth country to formally ratify the Agreement after Denmark, Kiribati, Guyana, and the Philippines. A total of eighteen nations have signed the Agreement as founding members, however these five are the first to have it approved according to their domestic legal requirements. Korea’s ratification is significant because GGGI was founded by President Lee Myung-bak’s administration and the organization is headquartered in the country. Of the 154 members of the National Assembly that voted on the matter, 118 cast a yes vote, 14 voted no, and 22 abstained.
The vote marks the culmination of efforts by GGGI and its partner countries to transition from being a non-profit entity under Korean civil law to holding status as a full-fledged international organization. GGGI was established in 2010 with initial funding provided principally by the Korean government. Over time, the number of financial contributors has steadily grown to now include multiple core donors, such as Australia, Denmark, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates, with project specific funding coming from Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
In June 2012, sixteen countries signed the Establishment Agreement in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). This event, attended by six heads of state, including President Lee, was a key milestone in GGGI’s transformation. Two additional nations signed on shortly thereafter to become founding members of the organization. After government ratification from Denmark, Kiribati, and Guyana, GGGI officially became an international organization and held inaugural meetings under its new international governance structure in October in Seoul.
The Korean National Assembly’s approval assures that GGGI will maintain its Secretariat in Korea and solidifies the country’s commitment to green growth. The government hopes that GGGI will help form part of a “green triangle,” as Korea recently won its bid to host the Green Climate Fund and has already established a Green Technology Center.