Bonghee Son, the Key Expert of the Climate Action project participated in the International Conference on Coal Phase-out and Climate Action, organized by the Chungcheongnam Provincial Office at Resom Spa Castle in Chungcheongnam-do. The purpose of event was to build domestic and international cooperation in developing a consensus on coal phase-out and climate action policies in preparation of the forthcoming Paris Agreement era. The event was attended by 500 participants from national and local governments, environmental NGOs and institutes from 8 different countries.
At the conference, the Chunagnam Governor, Mr. Seungjo Yang, announced ‘the Declaration of Climate Emergency’ and delivered the Chungman’s commitments to bring forward collective climate actions by the provincial government and citizens. Having hosted 30 from the total of 60 coal power plants in Korea, Chungcheongnam Province (Chungnam) has committed to phase coal out under the target of closing down 14 coal plants by 2026 and expanding the uptake of renewable energy.
At the event, Bonghee introduced best examples of climate cooperation between local governments- the International Urban Cooperation project, Ambitious City Promises, and East Asia Clean Air Cities, to name a few projects. She also introduced the EU-Korea Climate Action project as a platform facilitating cooperation between climate actors in Korea and European countries. She said, “City-to-city cooperation can be a key driver to accelerate climate actions because it creates peer-to-peer learning opportunities of best practices. Having recognized cities as key actors in the combat on climate change, the EU-KO Climate Action project supports cities in the EU and Korea in establishing the climate partnership.”
At the end of the speech session, speakers further discussed important factors for local governments to consider in strengthening climate cooperation. The suggested recommendations are making political commitments, delivering needs assessment, setting targets and priorities, civil engagement, and expanding cooperation with expert organizations such as international organizations, research institutes and academia.
Bonghee’s speech material is available here.