Reflections on Seoul P4G: Clean Transition to Green Summit
Since the introduction of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, world leaders have been emphasizing the importance of green, sustainable and inclusive growth. South Korea is no exception. Catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, South Korea has launched the Korean New Deal as the country enters the post-pandemic recovery phase. I was impressed by the Korean government’s dedication to green and inclusive recovery with digital at its core. But with smart cities in South Korea on the rise and more green spaces becoming available, I am starting to better understand how much the Korean government prioritizes green growth.
As a youth who is deeply passionate about sustainable development, I have taken part in various programs and initiatives that revolve around the SDGs. Most notably, I joined a group of students across ASEAN to bring a digital magazine on sustainable development in the ASEAN region to life. Volunteering annually for Bangkok River Clean Up was also a regular activity before the pandemic halted in-person community events.
Bringing my passions for green causes and South Korea together, I’ve listened in to multiple webinars about Korea’s green transition as well as how the country is investing in knowledge transfer with regional and international partners to empower the global community towards green growth.
When I found out that Seoul is going to host the second P4G Summit this May, I was thrilled and curious about the line-up of events revolving around the global goals. The Clean Transition to Green Economy pre-summit session was an amazing opportunity to hear from key speakers about global efforts for sustainable development. In particular, the most interesting section was how different countries are joining hands to share knowledge and expertise around how to transition to a green economy.
I’ve come across webinars that introduced me to how the South Korean government supports SMEs to drive local innovation. Moreover, it is clear that public-private partnership is also an important aspect of how countries are investing in green growth.
On top of that, policies such as the New Southern Policy Plus are ways that South Korea is taking responsibility for its role as a global player. Despite being a middle power in the international order, the country is incredibly serious when it comes to upholding the values of international cooperation for the common good. I am confident that South Korea will continue to pursue green growth, and partner with international partners to create a systems shift in how the global economy functions. Although a global green transition is no easy task nor a fast process, there is hope for a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future as long as countries are willing to create partnerships towards the Global Goals!