Seoul climate change summit to be postponed

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Seoul climate change summit to be postponed

An international climate change summit that was to be held in Seoul in late June is expected to be postponed to next year, according to diplomatic sources Monday.

Korea has been preparing to host the second summit of Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G, on June 29 and 30, at the Coex conference center in southern Seoul. But as the coronavirus spreads, Seoul reviewed whether the P4G summit could proceed as planned.

“Because of the circumstances, the P4G summit is inevitably expected to be postponed,” a Seoul diplomatic source told the Korea JoongAng Daily Monday, adding that an official government announcement will come soon. The summit is expected to be postponed to next year.

The P4G is a public-private initiative to tackle climate change and deliver on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and the first summit was held in October 2018 in Copenhagen.

The summit was supposed to bring together a thousand participants from all over the world including leaders of countries, heads of international organizations and global businesses and international climate and environment experts including those from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

The second P4G summit was seen as an important step in strengthening international cooperation toward the 2030 target for implementing the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The P4G secretariat and Seoul officials have been closely monitoring Covid-19 trends overseas as countries close borders and suspend flights. While there were three months until the summit, Blue House and Korean government officials recognized the difficult circumstances.

Last week, the Tokyo Summer Olympics, scheduled to kick off in July, were postponed by the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government to a date no later than the summer of 2021.

Other international conferences have been postponed including a Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference initially scheduled from April 27 to May 22 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The UN announced Friday that countries agreed to postpone the NPT review to no later than April 2021, upon a proposal by the chair of the conference, Argentina.

On Saturday, the International Institute for Strategic Studies announced that it will not hold the Shangri-La Dialogue, a security conference held annually in Singapore, scheduled to take place from June 5 to 7, because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The defense forum is expected to convene again next year.

Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha in a World Economic Forum video conference Wednesday briefed health leaders on how Korea has “overcome the initial serious phase” and is “making efforts to normalize the situation.”

BY SARAH KIM [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]

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