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South Korea and European Union Pledge Cooperation on Carbon Markets, Advocate Fair and Ambitious Climate Agreement At The Paris Conference This December

by Therese Agcopra / Oct 01, 2015 09:01 AM EDT

Leaders from the European Union and South Korea at a bilateral summit in Seoul on Sept. 15 during which they pledged to push for an effective and ambitious climate agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this December.

European Council President Donald Tusk represented the EU together with European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström. South Korea was represented by President Geun Hye Park.

International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development reports Sept. 25  that the leaders of EU and South Korea are planning to launch an initiative next year to increase technical cooperation in terms of emissions trading schemes. The EU Partnership Instrument will fund this collaboration between two of the world's biggest carbon markets.

During the meeting, the leaders agreed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) should include adequate provisions on accountability and transparency for all parties, and that the an average temperature rise not exceeding two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels should be imposed internationally.

EU and South Korea also advocates the adaptation of and access to climate finance, particularly the establishment of a Green Climate Fund (GCF). This financing mechanism aims to provide developing countries a means to cut down emissions and help them adapt to the effects of climate change.

Around 35 countries have pledged to the GCF as of July, eight of which are developing countries. However, out of the $10.2 billion pledged, only $10.2 billion have actually been contributed.

Experts also say there will be benefits from EU and South Korea's carbon market cooperation. The high carbon price in South Korea could be offset by the EU's Emissions Trading System, reducing the cost of South Korea's carbon allowances while boosting EU's low carbon price.

The representatives of EU and South Korea also discussed other issues during the summit, including the situation in Ukraine, East Asia, and the Korean Peninsula.

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