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Moon highlights Korea’s environment actions, calls for cooperation on air pollution

NEW YORK -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday announced Korea’s hosting of the P4G Summit next year, and the country’s plans to speed up efforts to fight climate change.

Addressing the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, Moon put forward three related pledges, and proposed designation of “International Day for Blue Sky” calling for international cooperation to address air pollution. 

President Moon Jae-in addresses the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday. Yonhap
President Moon Jae-in addresses the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday. Yonhap

“First, we will explore a variety of measures for transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy at the earliest date possible, including the formulation of Korean sustainable development goals,” Moon said, going on to list Korea’s responses to climate change.

Under the Moon administration, Korea has stopped building coal-fired power plants, and a total of 10 aging coal power plants will be decommissioned by 2022. The government has also drawn up a roadmap for building hydrogen economy.

For his second pledge, Moon said that Korea’s contribution to the Green Climate Fund will be doubled. Korea has contributed $100 million to the GCF between 2015 and 2018.

“Third, I declare that the Republic of Korea will host the second P4G Summit next year. The P4G Summit, to be held in Seoul next June, will provide an opportunity to strengthen the international community‘s solidarity behind implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Regarding “International Day for Blue Sky” designation proposal, Moon sited World Health Organization’s data that air pollution is causing more than 7 million premature deaths each year to highlight the need for international cooperation.

“In order to improve air quality, cross-border international cooperation and joint responses are definitely required, including joint research and technological support,” Moon said.

“The Republic of Korea is bolstering cooperation with the international community by establishing the National Council on Climate and Air Quality chaired by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The international community’s joint efforts to improve air quality are a way to usher in a low-carbon era. I call for participation and support from member states.”

By Choi He-suk Korea Herald correspondent (