European Union Election Observation Mission
Ghana, 2016

Climate Risk and Green New Deal Seminar By Dr. Michael Reiterer

Seoul, 10/08/2020 - 08:35, UNIQUE ID: 200810_2
Speeches of the Ambassador

Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Korea, 10.00-12.00, 30, July 2020, Hosted by the National Assembly Climate Risk and Green New Deal Research Forum

Presentation: The European Green Deal and Green Recovery


  • It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the European Union at the National Assembly.
  • I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the National Assembly Climate Risk and Green Deal Research Forum for their kind invitation and successful organisation of this timely event.
  • I would like to start my speech by mentioning that EU leaders reached a historic agreement on a €750 billion pandemic recovery fund last week in addition to our €1 trillion budget for the Green Deal.
  • The investments will ensure that our transition is climate neutral, digital and socially balanced.  
  • Before the pandemic hit, the world was set on an unsustainable economic path.
  • European youth and citizens have called for stronger climate action and ambition. 
  • This is the main reason why the EU set out a vision of the future in the European Green Deal. In fact, this has been in place since well before the corona crisis, and if anything, the crisis has strengthened the case for the deal.
  • The pandemic has exposed a lot of our vulnerabilities, and the impacts will be profound and long-lasting.
  • However, I believe this is our opportunity to lay the ground to “Build Back Better”.
  • This requires an unprecedented transformation of our economic and societal systems, without delay. 
  • The buy-in of the private sector is essential. It will provide the main source of investment.


  • The European Green Deal is our new ‘Growth Strategy’ for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 and a sustainable future where economic growth is decoupled from resource use.
  • To do so, the EU put forward the EU ‘Climate Law’ to enshrine the 2050 climate neutrality objective in legislation, followed by all relevant legislative measures, including the increase of 2030 NDC target and a carbon border adjustment mechanisms.
  • To meet our goals by 2050, changing the way we produce and use energy is critical.[1]
  • This entails working on different sectors of our society, namely energy, building sector, industry and forms of mobility. The Korean Green Deal is also focusing on those sectors.
  • In that transition, renewable energy sources including hydrogen will have an essential role. [2]
  • Therefore, we need to rethink the way we produce, consume and extract our resources.
  • A Circular Economy strategy will be key to protect our well-being, eco-system and bio-diversity from hazardous pollutions while a farm to fork strategy will ensure a system to provide safe food in Europe.
  • New technologies, sustainable solutions and innovation are critical in this transition.
  • At least 35% of our R&D (Horizon Europe) budget will fund new solutions for climate.

  • [1] *energy use and production account more than 75% of EU’s GHG emissions

    [2] By 2025, the EU plans to install about 1 million public recharging and refuelling stations for the 13 million zero- and low-emission vehicles on European roads. Korean Green New Deal: increase electric vehicles by 1.13 million units and hydrogen vehicles by 200,000 with 15,000 electric vehicle-charging stations and 450 hydrogen ones by 2025


[1] *유럽연합 온실가스 배출량의 75% 에너지 사용 생산과 관련 있다.

[2] 2025년까지, 유럽연합은 13백만 탄소 무배출 저탄소 배출 차량을 위해 유럽 도로 곳곳에 1백만대에 달하는 공중 충전소 급유시설을 설치한다는 계획이다. 한국의 그린뉴딜 정책은 2025년까지 전기차 수소차를 각각 113만대 20만대 늘리고, 15,000개의 전기차 충전소와 450개의 수소차 충전소를 설치한다는 계획을 포함하고 있다.


  • Global warming is harder to tackle than the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be no vaccine against climate change and its devastating impacts.
  • Neither the EU nor Korea can reach a sustainable future in isolation. Flattening the emission curve by 2050 and green economic rebound will only be possible if we take bold and courageous climate action, TOGETHER!
  • The EU’s experience shows that, with a proper policy framework, climate action and economic growth can be decoupled. The EU’s GHG emissions declined by 23% in the last 30 years while its GDP increased by 61%. This is a very telling outcome.
  • Sustainability is the source of growth and jobs that will last.



  • The Green Deal mobilises at least €1 trillion of public investment and private funds.
  • A 25% of the total EU budget is to be spent on climate mainstreaming across all EU programmes.
  • At least €100 billion in investments will support the regions most impacted by the transition.
  • In addition, 750 billion will be mobilised as a green recovery package.
  • Through the recovery package and a revamped EU budget, the twin green and digital transitions and building a fairer and more resilient society will be assured in the interest of the next generation for which we are responsible.
  • We praise the leadership of the ROK shown on the healthcare response to COVID-19. The ROK is now more visible than ever on the international stage.
  • Therefore, the EU very much welcomes the ROK’s interest in the Green Deal and Green Recovery.
  • The Democratic Party’s Green New Deal manifesto, climate emergency declarations made by the local governments and the members of Parliament and President Moon’s Green New Deal are very encouraging.[1]
  • At the recent virtual summit leaders have reaffirmed their commitments in working together on Green
  • However, we remain concerned that there might be a gap between policies announced and actions taken in the ROK.
  • For instance, the Korea Electric Power Corporation decided to continue investing in international coal power plant projects in Indonesia on the very same day when the Summit took place. This is clearly going backwards.
  • United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres also said that coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery plans.
  • More importantly, the carbon-neutrality goal of the Korean Green New Deal has no timeline. We often hear that there are many difficulties in the uptake of renewables because of the size and topography of the country. Investing in renewables also create jobs, safe jobs.

  • [1] Around 226 local governments and about 120 Members of Parliament announced a climate emergency declaration in June and July respectively.


Honorable Members of Parliament

  • We know that that nothing is easy, therefore we need action plans, not speeches.
  • There are areas where the National Assembly could do more in order to drive the Korean Green New Deal.
  • Set the timeline of 2050 for the carbon-neutrality goal based on a clear long-term strategy. Put an end date for coal financing and use as soon as possible. You could be Asia's first country to do so.
  • Goals without a timeline are a dream only.
  • The EU and Korea are already working together in R&D. We count on Korean ingenuity to develop energy storage technologies, smart grids, renewable energy, zero-emission vehicles, climate-smart agriculture and eco-friendly, energy-efficient buildings to name just a few.
  • To this end, we need to ensure enabling policy, regulatory and legal frameworks facilitating progress.
  • Sustainable finance is a prerequisite for clean investment and a tool to direct investment. The EU has recently published it green taxonomy, which could become an international yardstick. I encourage the ROK to join the International Platform on Sustainable Finance. 
  • The choices we make today will define tomorrow’s future. Thank you for listening.
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