2017.5.15~19(금)간 방콕 유엔회의장에서 개최된
제73차 ESCAP 총회 중 각료급회의 (Ministerial Session) 국별연설 (Country Statement)을 위한
수석대표(노광일 대사) 기조발언문입니다.
Keynote Speech by H.E. Mr. Noh Kwang-il
Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Kingdom of Thailand
at the Ministerial Segment of the 73rd Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
May 19, 2017
Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Representatives, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin by thanking the UNESCAP Secretariat and the Government of Thailand for the excellent preparations for the 73rd Session of the Commission. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires the international community to make concerted efforts in order to build a human society that leaves no one behind and indeed a future for the planet where nature and humankind coexist in harmony. And the Paris Agreement calls on the international community to make the transition to the low-carbon economy as a new economic model for the future.
At this context, selecting ‘Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Energy’ as the theme of this session is indeed timely. Energy cooperation is Sustainable Development Goal Seven, and at the same time it can work as a key mechanism for implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Mr. Chairman, The Asia-Pacific region faces multiple energy security challenges as it comprises countries facing a range of different situations in the energy field, including a number of energy exporting countries, the Northeast Asian countries, which rely heavily on energy imports, the Southeast Asian countries, which still rely heavily on fossil fuels, and the Pacific island groups which are vulnerable to climate change.
In order to overcome such vulnerabilities in regional energy security, today, I would like to emphasize the importance of all members making the transition to a low carbon economy and enhancing energy connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
First of all, for the transition to the low carbon economy, all countries need to bring change in the energy paradigm, expanding the renewable energy supply. Korea has strived to secure reliable energy sources for sustainable development while actively participating in the international efforts to combat climate change in keeping with the Paris Agreement, with its mitigation target of reducing greenhouse gases by 37% by 2030.
At the domestic level, the Korean Government set the mid-term energy strategy mostly based on the development of new energy technology. Through this strategy, we plan to expand the proportion of renewable energy to 11% by 2035. Most of all, in accordance with the ‘New Energy Industry Strategy for 2030’ announced in 2015, Korea plans to create a new business model which takes ICT and eco-friendly energy resources as a basis, by intensively fostering four industries: the ‘Energy Prosumer Electricity Market’, ‘Expansion of Low Carbon Generation’, ‘Wide Distribution of Electric Vehicles’, and ‘Eco-friendly Technology Development’.
In accordance with this strategy, Korea is actively embarking on energy technology development. Key examples include the development of energy independent islands which could generate enough electricity for the population through clean and renewable energy sources and the expansion of a smart grid which aims to achieve an interconnected power grid intended to optimize energy efficiency At the international level, Korea is participating in the “Mission Innovation”, which aims to double the public R&D budget for cleaner energy over the next five years. Korea envisages that Mission Innovation can serve to develop clean energy technology innovation and the transition to the low carbon economy.
Second, in order to enhance the energy connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region, facilitating consultations between the countries of the region is imperative. Since 2013, Korea and UN ESCAP have jointly held the Northeast Asia Energy Security Forum. Recently, the 4th Forum, held in December 2016 under the theme of ‘Facilitating Northeast Asian Power Grid Interconnections’, served as an excellent opportunity to share our thoughts on the possibilities for enhancing regional energy connectivity and the energy security.
The aim of this initiative is to integrate the regional power grids to supply sustainable energy to neighboring countries by harnessing the vast potential of renewable energy, such as wind power in Mongolia and Siberia. Enhanced regional energy connectivity, through extensive power grid interconnections in particular, will be an impetus to enhance countries’ energy efficiency.
Finally, I wish to emphasize the importance of financing for sustainable energy and for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. Development financing is the key instrument for actual implementation of the SDGs. Given this, it is crucial that we enhance regional collective efforts to mobilize finance for sustainable energy cooperation in the region. As the Asia-Pacific region has been a driving force for global economic growth, financing and investment in this region are constantly on the increase and the capital market is rapidly growing.
However, the development gap between upper middle income countries and the least developed countries has been the most conspicuous in this region. Therefore, active discussions and cooperation are needed for effective mobilization of financing for sustainable energy cooperation in the region. In particular, the infrastructure development which is needed for renewable energy supply and energy integration in the region demands all kinds of financial resources including both public and private financing. Public finance has an important role to play in promoting private investment. In this regard, I would like to stress the importance of the role of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a central financial mechanism for addressing climate change and sustainable development in developing countries.
Mr. Chairman, In this region of differing levels of economic development, UN ESCAP has indeed been playing a facilitating role in promoting regional cooperation in the economic and social sectors for the last 70 years. I have every confidence that UN ESCAP will indeed play a pivotal role in facilitating regional cooperation in the energy area and fostering valuable partnerships for sustainable development in the region. As a key member and a greatest donor of UN ESCAP, the Republic of Korea would like to reaffirm its sincere wish to continue to cooperate with other members and the ESCAP Secretariat for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.
Thank you. /END/