Greenhouse urgencyMeeting in Bali, representatives from 180 countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the view to combat global warming. Developed countries are expected to make every effort to implement the main goals in the existing Kyoto Protocol, and developing countries will take voluntarily action to fulfill greenhouse gas reduction goals in a feasible manner. The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali culminated in the adoption of the “Bali Roadmap.”
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol set ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gases with the participation of only 37 developed nations. However, this conference has been joined by nearly every nation in the world. Even the United States, which refused to accept the Kyoto Protocol, took part in the meeting. According to the Bali Roadmap, a new convention on climate change will be concluded at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference. That agreement will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The reduction of greenhouse gases is emerging as the most important task for humankind.
Korea has been categorized in the group of developing countries that is exempted from mandatory reduction goals. But we cannot evade it this time. As the world’s 12th-biggest economy and nineth largest global greenhouse gases emitter, it is high time for us to play an appropriate role given Korea’s status in the international community. It is also a part of our natural duty to be actively involved in international efforts to stop global warming. We are part of a global village that is at risk.
We believe that the government should develop its position in a clearer manner, and devise appropriate measures. If not, Korea might be a negative force, increasing the cost and chaos further. Relevant systems should be arranged to expand the carbon market, where emissions are traded, and to offer a variety of incentives to environmentally friendly industries.
We need to move forward in developing alternative energies to replace fossil fuels. And since we will no longer be exempt, we will have to work hard to secure our right to emit greenhouse gases under the carbon trading scheme. We must become a leader in this new market.