3rd Climate Action Roundtable (CART) Outcome Report (3/13)
The 3rd Climate Action Roundtable (CART), co-hosted by Global Compact Network Korea (GCNK), WWF -Korea, CDP Korea and funded by Citibank, was held on March 13th at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul. The 3rd roundtable, following last year’s event, was to introduce climate change related domestic policies and law and to search for an adequate corporate climate action strategy in Korea.
“Now every government is looking for ways to achieve both climate and development goals, and businesses are finding grounds for investments while preparing for a future of significantly decreased amount of carbon emission.” said Suk-bum Park, Secretary-General of the GCNK in the welcoming remarks. He added, “The synergy between governments and business is critical, and in order to accelerate the speed of innovation and investment, as well as the scale of low carbon solutions, the ‘Ambition Loop’ – a virtuous circle supporting each other – is needed.”
Se-woong Yoon, the CEO of WWF Korea said, “The occurrence of natural disaster has increased due to GHG emission.”, and stated that “While WWF is an advisor for government policies, the voluntary work of businesses are the most important. WWF will continue to support companies to reduce GHG.”
“When CDP was first launched in the UK in 2003 and in Korea in 2008, government and businesses were not interested in climate change, but I see that has changed now as I am at this roundtable,” said Chun-Seung Yang, Executive Director of CDP Korea. “GHG is not free anymore. Active participation to solve the GHG problem is needed to satisfy the requirements of investors.”
The first presentation, ‘Global Low Carbon Strategy and its Implication to Businesses’, was delivered by Dong-woon Noh, Senior Researcher of the Korea Energy Economics Institute. “Globally, ambitious goals have been set about the 2020 reduction goal. Regarding the Carbon Budget, it is already impossible to reach the 1.5℃ goal, and to achieve the 2℃ goal, 11 billion to 13 billion tons of emission needs to be reduced. The key is low carbonization of the power generation sector, which can be done with low cost” said Dr. Noh. “The world is already in the age of renewable energy and the technological development of low carbonization would be vital.”
The next presentation was followed by Tae-han Kim, Senior Researcher of CDP Korea on ’Search for Business Strategies through Climate and Energy Related Law and Policies in Korea’. “There is a growing interest from the government and politics on RE100. Not only overseas companies, but Korean companies are interested as well. 166 companies are participating in RE100 but it is not easy for Korean companies to do so due to the lack of relevant policies. Establishment of such policies are needed. As ‘The Right to Renewable Energy Initiative’ was launched recently, more effort is needed to promote the initiative for more companies to engage.”
The final presentation on ‘Efforts of Korean Businesses to Mitigate Climate Change and Energy Problems and Proposal for Future Directions’ was given by Professor Sun-jin Yun of Seoul National University. Professor Yun analyzed the climate action status of 16 companies in the electric sector (electricity, electronic, telecommunication), and 17 companies in the transportation sector (transportation, logistics, automobile, shipbuilding) focusing on goals, achievements, and information disclosure, along with implications to gain competitiveness in the global market. Professor Yun stated, “The importance of climate change is well known but now it is also related to other problems like jobs. Businesses should take the lead not only in terms of CSR, but also as a matter of commercial profit or they will not be able to survive. As investors becoming wiser everyday, companies should actively respond and disclose various information through Sustainability Report, etc.”
Q&A sessions followed each presentation and a real time survey via ‘menti.com’ system was conducted to share opinions discussed at the roundtable.
This roundtable was organized for Korean companies, that cannot show advanced effort and contribution against climate change due to limitations in related policies. In this regard, the roundtable served as a ground to seek ways to reform and improve regulations to expand renewable energy usage and to establish adequate corporate climate action strategies complying the global trends; global companies are participating in initiatives such as ‘Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance(REBA)’, ‘RE100’ while contributing to the Paris Agreement through the ‘Science Based Target initiative(SBTi)’. The GCNK will continue to offer opportunities to introduce international trends and share useful information for Korean companies to participate in lowering carbon emissions.