By Kim Eun-young and Yoon Sojung
President Moon Jae-in on Nov. 1 said during a visit to the U.K., "Korea will upgrade its 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent relative to the level in 2018."
At the World Leaders Summit for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, he said, "This 14 percent increase from the previous target is a daring goal, and it is very challenging to steeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a short span of time."
"Methane is an important key to addressing the climate crisis because it contributes to the greenhouse effect much more than carbon dioxide," he added. "Korea will actively participate in efforts to cut methane emission by joining the Global Methane Pledge."
The pledge is an international treaty aimed to reduce global methane emissions at least 30% by 2030 from the level of 2020.
To achieve carbon neutrality, President Moon proposed cooperation in forest restoration with developing countries and North Korea.
"Trees are living greenhouse gas sinks," he said. "Growing trees and reviving forests are important solutions to the climate crisis."
Calling Korea "the only country to have succeeded with post-World War II reforestation," the chief executive said, "Korea will lead collective forest restoration efforts."
"Moreover, through inter-Korean forestry cooperation, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the entire Korean Peninsula," he added. "(We) will actively cooperate with developing countries in their efforts for forest recovery."
"Following the inauguration of my Administration, eight coal-fired power plants were shut down earlier than originally scheduled," he said. "By the end of this year, two additional plants are scheduled to close."
The president pledged that Korea "will put a complete end to coal-fired power generation by 2050."
"Our climate finance support will be continued through the Green Climate Fund and the Global Green Growth Institute, and cooperation with developing countries in the field of green technology will be bolstered through the Climate Technology Centre and Network,” he added.
During his three-country tour of Europe, President Moon on Nov. 2 was slated to fly from the U.K. to Hungary for a three-day state visit at the invitation of Hungarian President Janos Ader.
In the Eastern European country, President Moon will hold summit talks with President Ader and attend a meeting with heads of state from the four member countries of the Visegrad Group, a regional cooperation body comprising the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. President Moon will also attend a Korea-Hungary business forum involving Korean and Visegrad Group entrepreneurs.