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Environmental ministers to gather in Seoul

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Published : 2012-10-18 20:30
Updated : 2012-10-18 20:30

Environmental ministers from more than 40 countries are to gather in Seoul next week for a meeting on climate change.

The upcoming meeting is in preparation for the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, more widely called COP18, to be held in Doha, Qatar, at the end of the year.

“The Pre-COP18 Ministerial Meeting in Seoul will be a chance for ministers to poll ideas to find ways to tackle global climate challenges and reinforce their political commitment to the fight,” Korean Environmental Minister Yoo Young-sook said in a press statement.

It comes at a crucial time as the international community looks toward a new era in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, with the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period (2008-2012) nearing the end. At last year’s COP17 meeting the countries agreed to switch to a new climate regime by 2020 under which all participating parties ― regardless of being rich or poor ― will be given mandatory emission cut targets. It’s called the Durban Platform.

Participants include Christiana Figueres, secretary general of the UNFCCC; Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, deputy prime minister of Qatar; Maite Nkoana Mashabane, South African foreign minister; Todd Stern, U.S. special envoy for climate change; Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission; Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action.

The Pre-COP18 Ministerial Meeting will be held from Oct. 22-23 at Shilla Hotel, Seoul.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)

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