SEOUL, May 30 (Yonhap) — A major global summit on climate and sustainable growth got underway in South Korea on Sunday, with the host country seeking to play a bigger role in the field.
The two-day 2021 P4G Seoul Summit is taking place both online and offline with the theme of “Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality.” President Moon Jae-in is chairing the session, to be joined by more than 60 foreign leaders and heads of international organizations, largely via video links.
Speaking during the opening ceremony at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in Seoul, Moon announced Seoul’s plans to expand support for developing nations, including a significant increase by 2025 in its official development assistance (ODA) associated with climate and green projects.
“We will also create a Green New Deal Trust Fund worth US$5 million at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI),” he said, referring to the organization based in the South Korean capital.
He added that South Korea will offer $4 million in new grants to P4G for the sake of its sustainable operation.
P4G stands for Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, a multilateral initiative for inclusive solutions to challenges in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.
Moon also made public South Korea’s bid to host the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) in 2023.
He reaffirmed the country’s commitment to further raise its carbon emission reduction target as part of efforts achieve the goal of going carbon neutral by 2050 and to halt official financial support for construction of new overseas coal-fired power plants.
“South Korea will play a responsible role as a bridging nation between developing and advanced nations, going forward as well,” the president stated.
Soon after the ceremony, the Leaders’ Session was held, featuring a series of pre-recorded video speeches by dozens of global leaders and heads of international organizations.
They included British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria were also among the participants.
They were united in stressing the urgency of international cooperation and solidarity to address the problem of climate change. They called for expanding the development and use of renewable energy.
Moon and some other participants, including John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, are scheduled to present their views during the Leaders’ Dialogue forum to be steamed live on Monday night. They plan to adopt the Seoul Declaration to sum up the results of their discussions.
The P4G summit is the second of its kind following the inaugural meeting held in Copenhagen in 2018.
Cheong Wa Dae noted that 2021 marks the first year for implementing the Paris Agreement and South Korea’s carbon neutrality goals. It is especially meaningful that South Korea is hosting its first environment-focused multilateral summit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential office added.