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S. Korean Ambassador talks climate change, green economy

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South Korean Ambassador to Jordan Lee Jae-wan at his residence in Jabal Amman on May 17, 2021. (Photo: Zoe Sottile/Jordan News)
AMMAN — South Korean Ambassador to Jordan Lee Jae-wan met with journalists on Monday to discuss the upcoming P4G summit, which will be held in Seoul at the end of May. The summit, dedicated to “Inclusive Green Recovery Towards Carbon Neutrality,” will bring together more than 60 leaders of countries and international organizations to discuss market based partnerships in support of a green economy.اضافة اعلان

The Pioneering Green Partnerships, Investing in Impact (P4G) summit falls into five thematic areas: water, energy, food and agriculture, cities, and the circular economy. The theme of water is particularly relevant to water-scarce Jordan, where a summer drought is expected to provide even greater challenges for agriculture. 

The summit was launched in 2017 to respond to climate change and work towards the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project emphasizes public-private partnership to achieve effective solutions for climate change. Whereas previous summits were held in person, this year the summit will be held entirely virtual, with Jordan sending a representative.

The goal of the summit is to “try to produce some very innovative solutions,” said Lee. “The basic goal of the SDGs is not leaving anybody behind. Our priority, we want to achieve through these, is inclusive recovery. Inclusive so that nobody can be left behind through the green recovery.” According to the ambassador, the summit’s dedication to inclusivity includes “women and children, disabled people, vulnerable people.” He explained that by stimulating the “green industry, we can enhance the employment rate.”

Throughout the sessions, leaders will share “Experiences or hindrances that they face when they try to solve these problems,” and try to “put forward solutions for the future,” said Lee.

The diplomat described “different communities facing mounting social, economic, security challenges, and also climate change.”

“We think that green recovery is the best option to address these challenges in a timely manner,” he added. “We hope we can reshape our economy and society” in order to “achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Kiwon Seo, first secretary for political action at the Korean embassy, explained that during the summit, there will be “video messages from the participating leaders from the states and international organizations” in which they “share their best practices or their ideas about how do we deal with the current challenges.” He added that the videos will address green recovery from COVID-19 and carbon neutrality. 

One key element of the summit is public-private partnerships. Seo said that the summit is distinguished by the “action-oriented public-private partnership” that brings together civil society organizations, private corporations, and government parties.” He explained that the P4G leadership consists of 12 member governments representing four continents, as well as international organizations, corporations, and civil society groups. Lee highlighted the importance of identifying solutions that are both environmentally sustainable and profitable for the local community.

The climate challenges addressed at the summit are especially relevant for Jordan, one of the world’s most water scarce countries. Seo pointed out that Jordan was the first country in the region to announce its climate change policy in 2013, and is also a member of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international organization which was established under the leadership of South Korea and works to balance economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Jordan is “one of the major countries in confronting climate change, environmental challenges,” Seo said.

Lee added that “Water is one of our high priorities that P4G should cover.”

Among other strategies promoted by the summit, Lee and Seo both emphasized Korea’s contribution to “smart farm” technology in Jordan. “The smart farm technology is drawing more attention as one of the alternatives to the food security crisis caused by climate change,” said Seo. “The most prominent advantage of smart farm technology is it can make higher productivity with fewer water resources. It is known that crops can be grown with about just 10 percent (of the water) compared to the conventional technology when using technology such as hydroponics.” He also mentioned container farming and vertical farming as unique methods that can sustain agriculture in difficult conditions.

“The UAE and Kuwait have already introduced Korean smart farming methods, with positive results,” Seo said.

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