Seoul climate summit: world leaders call for action & inclusion

Seoul, South Korea: World leaders on Sunday called for further action and the engagement of all countries in the global drive for a cleaner, greener planet, at the virtual climate summit held by South Korea.

Climate change poses a significant danger to global growth, with risks such as reduced agriculture yields, harsh weather that devastates the tourist economies, disease outbreaks, and other disasters that would sap output.

South Korea, which recently announced plans to reduce funding for overseas coal projects, is looking to play a larger part in the global green movement.

"South Korea will play a responsible role as a bridging nation between developing and advanced nations," said President Moon Jae-in as he opened the 2021 Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, summit.

The two-day summit, which follows the inaugural conference in Copenhagen in 2018, will focus on public-private partnerships, particularly in developing nations.

In recent months, advanced countries have set ambitious emissions-reduction targets, as well as plans to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has urged countries to phase out their reliance on fossil fuels, warning that climate change poses a greater threat to people's lives and the economy than the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a landmark judgment by the country's top court declaring a signature climate protection law "insufficient," Germany reinforced its goal to reduce CO2 emissions, including a 65 percent reduction by 2030.

Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, stated that countries must now follow through on their green pledges.

"It's a great start, but let's not pat ourselves on the back just yet because our planet and our people need more," he said.

"We need governments that will not just make promises on climate and nature but match those words with deeds."

Having trouble catching up


Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, world leaders agreed to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius by 2050, ideally closer to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Despite this, many of the world's largest emitters have failed to meet their targets, and governments have yet to agree on a single set of rules to govern how the Paris Agreement is implemented.

According to the UN, emissions must decline by approximately 8% per year to keep 1.5°C in play, which is similar to the emissions averted during the epidemic every year through 2030.

Leaders from around the world also emphasized the necessity of ensuring that poorer countries are not left out of the global green drive.

African countries should not be "locked up" in fossil fuels and should be able to progress with the rest of the globe, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, who is asking for large-scale renewable energy investments.

"It is not a global partnership if some are left struggling to survive," added UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"Tackling climate change head-on will help protect the most vulnerable people from the next crisis while sustaining a job-rich recovery from the pandemic," he said.

According to the World Bank, the impact of climate change might push between 32 million and 132 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.

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