The Korea Herald


Local governments set target to go carbon neutral by 2050

‘Green Future Week’ kicks off ahead of upcoming P4G Seoul Summit

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : May 24, 2021 - 20:01

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Governors and mayors virtually participate in a special panel session ahead of P4G Seoul Summit at Dongdaemun Design Plaza on Monday. (Yonhap) Governors and mayors virtually participate in a special panel session ahead of P4G Seoul Summit at Dongdaemun Design Plaza on Monday. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s local governments -- all 243 of them -- have pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, officials said in a joint declaration at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul Monday.

It marked the first time in the world that every local government of a country made a joint pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions, according the Environment Ministry.

In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the local governments promised to step up efforts to implement pro-climate plans in phases, explore projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance adaptability to the climate crisis. They also vowed to spread awareness of the climate crisis in their regions and communities while practicing and encouraging low-carbon and eco-friendly lifestyles.

“Carbon neutrality can only be achieved through major changes across the society. So it cannot be realized without the local governments’ cooperation,” Environment Minister Han Jeoung-ae said.

“To help the local governments actively promote carbon neutrality, the (central) government will provide technical and financial support such as analyzing greenhouse gas emission data and finding (greenhouse gas) reduction projects.”

Foreign governors and mayors from Denmark, Germany, Colombia and India shared their successful local policies during the event via video.

The joint declaration comes after the central government unveiled a series of plans in December to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The plan aims to pursue carbon reduction in every field of economy by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as main energy sources.

It also marked the beginning of “Green Future Week,” a weeklong event leading up to the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit slated for May 30-31 at DDP.

A total of 10 panel sessions will take place during the week to raise awareness on climate issues among stakeholders to work together to build a greener future in the post-coronavirus era, according to the summit’s preparatory committee. The topics include carbon neutrality, Korea’s Green New Deal, biodiversity and green technology.

The two-day P4G Seoul Summit, initially planned for 2020 but pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will focus on the theme “Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality.” It will be the second P4G summit following the first event held in Copenhagen in 2018.

P4G, which stands for “Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030,” is a global platform accelerating market-based partnerships to build sustainable and resilient economies across the world by delivering solutions to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

The P4G Seoul Summit will host five thematic sessions on water, food and agriculture, energy, cities and circular economy. All sessions will be streamed online through the official website or its YouTube channel.

Kan Hyeong-woo (