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On 11 March, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea presented a three-year cooperation project encouraging South Korean non-state actors to take more ambitious climate action. This project complements and widens the already successfully rolled-out projects on the Republic of Korea’s national emissions trading system, the urban cooperation and implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Under the Paris Agreement, the 195 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including the EU and the Republic of Korea, agreed to take action to limit global warming to well below 2°C, pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The Republic of Korea committed to reduce its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 37% below business-as-usual level with a renewable energy share reaching 20% by 2030. The EU plans to cut GHG emissions by at least 40% and targets a renewable energy share and energy efficiency of 32% and 32.5% respectively by 2030. Non-state actors and local governments have an essential role in implementing ambitious solutions on the ground.
In the context of the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the launching event of the EU-Korea Climate Action Project was opened by H.E. Yeon-chul Yoo, Ambassador for Climate Change, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea and H.E. Michael Reiterer, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Korea. The opening was followed by the key note speeches by Mrs Ho Yu, Director for the Climate Change Strategy Division, Ministry of Environment and Mr Jacob Werksman, Principal Adviser for International Aspects of EU Climate Policy and EU Lead Negotiator, European Commission, DG Climate Action. They both stressed the important role of non-state actors in accelerating climate action and implementing the Paris Agreement. According to Mr. Jacob Werksman “All parties to the Paris Agreement, including the EU and the Republic of Korea should now focus on accelerating implementation of their commitments and domestic ambition. The EU will continue leading the way on accelerated climate action on all fronts. We have begun to map out our vision for an ambitious EU long term strategy to send a strong signal to all stakeholders on the need to urgently accelerate the transition towards a climate-neutral economy.“
The EU-Korea Climate Action Project aims to foster cooperation between South Korean and EU non-state actors, including business, towards achieving the set emission reduction targets and contributing to the global efforts in low carbon transition. The Korea-EU cooperation opportunities offered by the project, like conferences, workshops, study tours, joint research and pilot projects – all linked to the project’s interactive e-platform (www.climateaction-korea.eu) were presented by Dr. Uwe Weber, Team Leader of the EU-Korea Climate Action Project.
The project is funded, with a budget of € 2.4 million (KRW 3.1 billion), under the EU's Partnership Instrument in support to the EU strategic partnerships.