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United Kingdom – Republic of Korea joint statement on climate change

Statement by the UK and the Republic of Korea recognising that the challenge of tackling climate change presents an opportunity to build strong, sustainable long-term economic growth.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea on the occasion of the State Visit by ROK President Park Geun-hye to the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea recognise that the challenge of tackling climate change presents an opportunity to build the model of strong, sustainable long-term economic growth. We share the view that low carbon policies are vital for a competitive and creative economy, provide a source of quality new jobs, and ensure energy security.

We will enhance bilateral co-operation to lead the global transition to a low carbon economy and to meet our respective greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. Acknowledging the compelling economic benefits of early climate action, we recognise that investing in a diverse, low carbon and efficient energy mix is the best route to long term security of supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We share the view that any future role for coal needs to be dependent on the successful deployment of cost competitive carbon capture and storage. We will explore various ways to promote carbon capture and storage including the joint development of a project.

We believe that nuclear power provides a safe, consistent and affordable source of energy, and has a key role to play in the future low carbon energy mix. In this context, both countries intend to expand and strengthen cooperation, based on the 1991 bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement, in the areas of nuclear power generation, nuclear safety, and research on nuclear decommissioning and the management of nuclear waste.

Recognising the mutual benefits from industry participation in peaceful nuclear programs, both countries welcome the signing of the Memorandums of Understanding concerning cooperation on civil nuclear generation and the development of advanced decommissioning technologies.

We will continue to work closely on Emissions Trading as the Republic of Korea develops its nationwide scheme for launch in 2015. The Republic of Korea will lead an industry mission to the UK in late 2013 to understand how UK companies have adjusted to the emissions trading system in the UK. We will also expand R&D and co-operation on green buildings, setting up an annual UK-Korea Green Building Policy Forum which will hold its inaugural meeting in Seoul in February 2014. We will explore new opportunities for partnerships as we develop policies to drive the low carbon transition, including transformational change of energy systems where low carbon generators compete fairly; and various tools and programs which can be used to engage a range of audiences on the challenges and opportunities of the future energy system.

We will continue to maximise the opportunities for UK-Korea commercial partnerships in low carbon goods and services now worth $5 trillion globally and growing at almost 4% a year. Over 200 Korean companies have set up business in the UK, increasingly in the low carbon sector. We believe that R&D and academic collaboration is critical to our low carbon future.

We believe that international cooperation is vital if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change which poses a fundamental threat to global prosperity and security. We welcome the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on the state of the climate and share the view that this latest assessment of the scientific evidence re-emphasises the urgent need for governments, businesses and individuals to tackle climate change.

We believe that the only credible way to promote ambitious action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions is through a legally binding international agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. The period to the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in 2015 is crucial as the international community works on agreeing by then the ambitious new global climate deal that the world needs. We will continue to pursue a post-2020 UNFCCC agreement that is ambitious, flexible, and covers every country in the world. We also recognise the importance of the G20, MEF, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and the Clean Energy Ministerial to be hosted by Seoul in 2014 as means to accelerate progress and build global support for the low carbon model of economic growth. We welcome the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate which will provide an important independent analysis of the economic risks and opportunities of climate change.

We will work together in the context of the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the International Maritime Organization, whilst respecting each other’s position, to further enhance energy efficiency and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping and flights.

The UK commends the Republic of Korea’s international leadership role on climate change, including its establishment of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and its successful bid to host the GCF. The UK is fully supportive of the aim of GGGI to support countries around the world to develop green growth strategies. Both the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea will make efforts for the early and successful operationalisation and resource mobilisation of the GCF. The United Kingdom is providing an additional £969 million to its International Climate Fund (ICF) for 2015-16 to support developing countries to adapt to climate change, take up low-carbon growth and tackle deforestation. The additional funding brings the UK’s global commitment on climate change response to nearly £4 billion from 2011 to 2016.

Following the success of the International Conferences on Climate Security, hosted in London in 2012 and Seoul in 2013, both countries will engage in promoting dialogue on the security threats posed by climate change, while taking forward the recommendations of the Seoul conference.

The governments of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea will continue to treat climate change as an issue of high priority in the bilateral relationship as we work towards an ambitious and coordinated global response to this serious challenge.

Published 6 November 2013
Last updated 7 November 2013 + show all updates
  1. Edited paragraph 3 to reflect correct information on updated press release
  2. First published.