EU and Republic of Korea hold the 4th Working Group on Energy, Environment and Climate
The fourth meeting of the EU-Republic of Korea Working Group on Energy, Environment and Climatetook place via videoconference on 27 January, providing for an in-depth exchange of views on respective policies and also the prospects for a further upgrading of bilateral cooperation in the areas covered by the Working Group.
The Working Group was established in 2018 under the Framework Agreement between the EU and the Republic of Korea. It constitutes a forum for deepened dialogue on energy, environmental and climate change issues in the context of the clean energy transition and the green recovery.
Both sides debriefed on their domestic strategies, with the EU presenting progress in implementing the European Green Deal and the Republic of Korea informing about its Green New Deal and its recently updated climate ambition. In this context, the EU and the Republic of Korea have explored the possibility to deepen their cooperation on issues that will be critical toaccelerate transition to climate neutral, biodiversity-friendly, circular and resource efficient economies by 2050.
The discussions on energy focused on increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix and need of cost-effective solutions through transparent renewable energy markets. Open and rule-based competition is one element to that. The role of hydrogen in the energy transition was highlighted by both sides,and areas of cooperation were explored. Discussion on how to ensure a just and fair transition, particularly given both side’s commitments on coal-phase out, were also on the Working Group’s agenda.
The session on environment helped to identify similarities in partners’ approaches to the circular economy as well as areas of mutual interest for future exchanges. Both parties agreed also to cooperate on biodiversity issues. On multilateral issues, the EU and the Republic of Korea have agreed to work together notably in the framework of the G20’s Resource Efficiency Dialogue, Marine Litter Action Plan and Sustainable Finance Roadmap, toward an ambitious and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity frameworkand on the launch of negotiations for a binding global agreement on plastic pollution at the United Nations Environment Assembly. Both parties also agreed to continue their good collaboration under the Global Alliance for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency.
As regards the fight against climate change, the EU and the Republic of Korea stressed their strong intention to further deepen cooperation both in the bilateral and multilateral formats. Both parties exchanged views about their recently updated 2030 Greenhouse Gas emission targets and the policies to achieve them,discussed the outcome of COP26 and their cooperation in the run-up to COP27 to deliver highest possible ambition and put the world on track to keep the global warming below 1.5°C. In this regard, the EU and the Republic of Korea discussed in particular the various economic, financial and technical aspects of the enhanced climate ambitions. Both sides also informed about their domestic efforts to fully implement the updated Nationally Determined Contributions and continued efforts to enhance ambition in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and requirements of latest climate science.
The EU delegation, which involved representatives of the European Commission Directorates-General for Climate Action, Energy and Environment, was led by the Deputy Managing Director Asia and Pacific of the European External Action Service Ms Paola Pampaloni and the Republic of Korea delegation was led by the Director-General for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Scientific Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Lee Tong-q.
The next meeting of the EU-Republic of Korea Working Group on Energy, Environment and Climate Change will be held in 2023.