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Leading the global climate talks

June 26,2018
Nam Jae-cheol
*Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration

Every year, 197 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Unfccc) negotiate to prevent global warming and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that have been rising ever since the industrial revolution. According to the negotiation results, countries set greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and implement policies in transportation, energy and the environment. Korea has also been making efforts, from the expansion of renewable energy distribution to improved building, transportation and energy efficiency.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) plays a critical role in greenhouse gas reduction negotiations and policy implementation. Established in 1988, IPCC has published five climate change evaluation reports. The first report in 1990 scientifically proved global warming and induced the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Governments of the member countries and thousands of climate change experts participate in writing of the IPCC report. In Korea, the Meteorological Administration leads the efforts. The IPCC report includes not only climate change status and forecasts but also analysis of social and economic impacts of climate change, positive and negative effects of the greenhouse gas reduction technology and policies.

From October 1 to 5, the 48th IPCC session will convene in Incheon. At the session, the special report that the Unfccc requested to the IPCC, Global Warming of 1.5ºC, will be approved.

The report deals with the Paris Climate Convention’s objective of reducing greenhouse gas emission to keep the average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) from the pre-industrial revolution level and the environmental, social and economic impacts as a result. Countries around the world are paying attention to the report, which will be the foundation for future greenhouse gas reduction negotiation. Intense debate is expected until the report is finalized.

Response to climate change and negotiation for the responses are crucial tasks for our generation. To systematically prepare and preemptively respond, Korea needs to actively participate in the scientific discussion within the IPCC.

At the IPCC session, Korea is expected to lead the international discussion on climate change and pave the way to spur the greenhouse gas reduction.