Climate Action Roundtable Outcome Report
The Climate Action Roundtable co-hosted by the Global Compact Network Korea, WWF-Korea and CDP Korea was held on September 4 at the International Conference Room of the Seoul Global Center. The meeting was to share realistic problems and concerns that companies are experiencing to respond to the 2030 National Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals and to convert into renewable energy based on the SBTi (Science Based Target Initiative).
In the opening speech, Chief Director of WWF-Korea, Sung Hwan Son, stated that “Internationally, multinationals have canceled investments of $5 trillion in fossil fuels. Solar facilities prices have fallen to 1% compared to 1977 and the length of period of increase in electric cars is also rapidly decreasing. Korean corporates should respond quickly to such trends in the international market in order to sustain their brand value and manage risk.”
Vice Chairman of CDP Korea, Chun Seung Yang, pointed out that “To cope with the low carbon economy and survive in the changing climate, we must act now. Globally there are 462 corporates participating in SBTi, however, among them only 4 are Korean. We expect more companies to actively take part.”
Secretary-General of the Global Compact Network Korea, Suk Bum Park remarked, “The announcement of oil-producing countries such as Australia and Norway to use eco-friendly energy is a big indication for Korea, the sixth largest oil consuming country in the world. As the impact of corporates have on climate change is grave, corporates should internalize climate matters into their business strategies and pursue sustainable development.”
The presentation session was held accordingly; “Roadmap to Achieve 2030 National Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goals” by the Ministry of Environment, “SDGs and Climate Action of Corporates” by the Global Compact Network Korea, “SBTi for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy” by WWF-Korea, “Journey up to the Declaration of Renewable Energy” by Samsung Electronics, and “The Present Status of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets of Korean Firms and the Trends of Laws and Policies in Korea and abroad” by CDP Korea.
Officer of the Ministry of Environment, Sang-il Lee explained about the major changes in 2030 Roadmap; “The existing roadmap did not have specific reduction path. There have been modifications in energy and fine dust related policy, management of air pollution countermeasure, and conversion to ecofriendly energy.”
Senior Researcher at the Global Compact Network Korea, Eun Kyung Lee said, “SDGs is an unprecedentedly integrated global agenda that best demonstrates the future business opportunities for corporates. SDGs, NDCs, government goals and corporate goals should be linked to set the priorities and generate synergy effects. It is necessary to take advantage of global platforms and guidelines such as SBTi and RE100 for establishing SDGs leadership and business strategies for climate action.”
Officer of WWF-Korea, Hae Na Kang talked about what SBTi is and the situation of practitioners who need to persuade managing executives regarding the need to establish long term roadmap goals and respond to climate change. “There are many corporates joining SBTi. Currently, there are 470 corporates participating and Korean companies such as Samsung and LS Cable & System operating globally are requested to partake in SBTi by overseas partners. Environment and climate change are no more regulations but a strategy”.
Senior Manager of Samsung Electronics, Ji Young Kim shared about what Samsung is experiencing after the ‘declaration of renewable energy’ through the presentation. “Advanced corporates are expanding their businesses from utilizing resources from renewable energy generation, and reduction of greenhouse gas is becoming another form of competition pattern when Samsung Electronics, which is also a B2B company, is competing with others in the same industry. However, in Korea it is systematically impossible for corporates to secure renewable energy because of Korea Electric Power Corporation monopolizing the electric power market. There has to be a route for private sectors to freely secure energy.”
CDP Korea finished the session with a statement that “1.5 temperature limit is challenging and needs time. You might question the feasibility of taking greenhouse gas reduction goal to 20 years but corporates would have to respond to the global trend of climate change. Due to concerns about damage to financial assets, real assets, and corporate assets caused by climate change, the matter is being viewed from financial aspect as well. Not only for the environment but to lessen financial risk, climate action is very important.”