Together with heads of state and government and representatives of international organizations, we held the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit under the theme “Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality.”
Over two days, through the Leaders’ Dialogue and 15 breakout sessions, we shared our renewed understanding of the seriousness of the climate crisis. The participating leaders agreed to adopt the Seoul Declaration – a promise that the international community, civil society, businesses and future generations will continue to work together to overcome the crisis.
Let me explain the main points of the Seoul Declaration.
The participating leaders agreed that the climate crisis is an issue whose impact reaches beyond the environment agenda to include economic, social, security and human rights-related challenges. We reaffirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic should also be overcome through a green recovery. A green recovery refers to implementing the Paris Agreement whose goal is to limit the average temperature increase to well below 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
From last year, the international community has continued efforts to overcome the climate crisis: One after another, each country has announced its separate Nationally Determined Contributions. I am convinced that the way this summit has enhanced public-private partnerships in addition to the global endeavors to date will make the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) to be held in November a success.
The participating leaders also expressed agreement that P4G has supplemented the U.N.-led efforts to respond to climate change and to achieve the goal of sustainable development. We agreed to enhance the roles of local governments and public-private partnerships in areas related to water, energy, food and agriculture, cities, the circular economy, finance and an inclusive and just transition. Furthermore, we shared a common understanding on the importance of civil society’s participation and role in spreading climate action. We urge businesses to hold ESG – environmental, social and corporate governance – in higher regard than they do now.
We believe that future generations can survive only when society and the economy overall is converted to a low-carbon structure. Governments around the world and international organizations pledged to consistently listen to the voices of youth in recognition that the choices we make today will determine the lives of future generations.
Finally, the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit brought together the international community’s collective will to pursue an “Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality.” The Declaration showed appreciation for Korea’s efforts and contained expectations for the next P4G Summit to be held in Colombia in 2023. These are the main points of the Declaration agreed to by the leaders. I express my gratitude to the heads of state and government and representatives of international organizations for their support for the Seoul Declaration.