The Korea Herald


Park calls for efforts for launch of new deal on climate change

By KH디지털2

Published : Dec. 1, 2015 - 09:10

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South Korean President Park Geun-hye has called for global efforts to launch a new deal on combating climate change, saying there is no time for hesitation as the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has reached record levels.

"We must marshal the collective will and capacities of the entire world and make absolutely sure that this Climate Change Conference gives birth to a new climate regime," Park said Monday in a speech at the leaders' event of a crucial U.N. conference on climate change in Paris.

The leaders' event -- the opening of the conference -- is designed to build political momentum for negotiations on a new legally binding deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It brought together leaders from more than 140 countries, including U.S.

President Barack Obama, as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The conference is set to run through Dec. 11 to try to produce a deal that will be applicable to all countries and seeks to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.

"The Paris conference is not the final destination. It is a new beginning," Park said. "Let us rally together for a new climate regime."

Still, negotiations do not appear to be easy as some countries are at odds over funds needed to tackle climate change.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that a new climate deal must include a clause on financial assistance to developing countries by advanced countries and that advanced countries must keep their promise to create US$100 billion each year.

A total of 184 countries -- which account for 94 percent of global emissions -- have put forward climate targets for post-2020.

In June, South Korea offered to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2030 from 850.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, an amount Seoul says it would reach if it lets business run as usual.

Park vowed to spearhead efforts to cut carbon emissions through new energy industries and meet South Korea's climate target.

South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju "will transition into a carbon free island by replacing its entire fleet of cars with electric vehicles and meeting 100 percent of its energy needs through renewable energy sources," Park said.

She also said net zero buildings will be mandated in phases and large plants will eventually be transformed into smart factories that harness information and communications technologies.

"These efforts will enable us to unlock a new market in the neighborhood of US$100 billion by the year 2030 and generate some 500,000 jobs," Park said.

She also vowed to join discussions to set up a global carbon market with enthusiasm, saying the market for carbon will "no doubt play a critical role under the new climate regime."

Also Monday, Park called for collaboration among countries to help make clean energy widely affordable.

"No single nation can, on its own, succeed in tackling climate change and innovating clean energy technology," Park said in the text of her speech posted on the website of Mission Innovation.

"More countries should join Mission Innovation to share their technologies and conduct collaborative research in promising new fields," Park said.

South Korea joined hands with the United States, China and 17 other countries in launching Mission Innovation to reinvigorate and accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation to make clean energy widely affordable.

Park also called for financial assistance and technology transfer to developing countries to ensure the new climate regime takes off successfully.

The participants of Mission Innovation said in a joint statement that they will seek to double its governmental and state-directed clean energy research and development investment over five years. (Yonhap)