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Yang Seung-jo

Chungnam becomes the Under2 Coalition’s Asia-Pacific Co-Chair

10 February 2021, 20:49 GMT 2 min read

As South Korea celebrates Lunar New Year, the Under2 Coalition of state and regional governments has announced Chungnam Province as its new co-chair for the Asia-Pacific region.

In its new role, Chungnam will be joining the existing four co-chairs for 2020-2022. Together the co-chairs set the direction of the coalition and decide on its highest-priority actions for cutting emissions in the months and years ahead. They are:

  • California – co-chair for North America
  • KwaZulu-Natal – co-chair for Africa
  • Querétaro – co-chair for Latin America
  • Scotland – co-chair for Europe

With states and regions now taking a more central role in fighting climate change, Chungnam’s leadership will be essential in building cooperation across South Korea and beyond. As well as sharing best practice based on creating and implementing green policies, they will advocate for more decisive action, not just at regional level but from national governments as the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, approaches this November.

"Chungnam declared a climate emergency in 2019, becoming the first local government to do so in East Asia. This highlights our commitment to meaningful climate action. 

“Now we have extended our international cooperation by taking on the role of co-chair of the Under2 Coalition. We look forward to working with other states and regions to move this vital work on, including through hosting the 2021 International Conference on Coal Phaseout.”
 

Yang Seung-jo, Governor of Chungnam Province

As part of its response to COVID-19, Chungnam announced a New Deal last year, which included a specific ‘Green New Deal’. This allocates around 3 trillion KRW ($2.5 billion) to 31 new projects that will strengthen the provision of green energy. It is part of Chungnam’s commitment to transitioning away from coal: a significant step from a region that is home to 30 of the 60 coal-fired power plants in South Korea and which accounts for a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

South Korea itself recently committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, and is a strong supporter of the Climate Group’s RE100 campaign: aimed at driving renewable energy uptake across all sectors. 42% of new campaign joiners came from Asia-Pacific in 2020, with Asia-Pacific now representing the fastest growing region for business demand for clean energy. 

As the Climate Decade progresses, efforts to cut emissions must intensify across all countries, states, regions, cities and businesses if the world is to keep temperature rises below 1.5 degrees: in line with scientific advice. The Under2 Coalition is therefore partnering with the UN’s Race to Zero campaign to encourage more states and regions to commit to net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.