This week, following the impeachment of their former president, the Republic of Korea elected a new president: Mr Moon Jae-in, a veteran politician from the centre-left Democratic Party. President Moon said he would be a “president for the people”. He emphasized his direct communication with the people, a welcome contrast to his predecessor Park Geun-hye.
President Moon also underlined that when it comes to major issues, he would raise media attention and open a forum at Seoul’s historic Gwanghwamun Square (where the country’s voices came together demanding change during the impeachment protests).
ECO hopes climate change, including national climate policies and international cooperation, will be among the issues President Moon will highlight in his new role if he really wants to become the “People’s President”. He can walk the talk by:
- accelerating the implementation of mitigation actions and revising the NDC with enhanced transparencytowards participation from the people
- drafting a long-term strategy that considers the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, thereby sending a clear and strong signal to citizens, businesses and investors.
In addition, given the relatively recent development of its economy, South Korea should consider increasing support to vulnerable developing countries dealing with climate impacts, and loss and damage. This could, for example, be in the form of capacity building. One place to start might be its neighbours in the Pacific, such as Fiji, a vulnerable pacific island nation and the host of COP 23.