The rise of greenhouse gases after the Industrial Revolution has been taking a toll on the climate system. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 to acquire scientific evidence of global warming. The IPCC warned that the global average temperature rose about 0.6 degrees Celsius for the past 100 years and the planet’s average temperature could be between 1.5 to 5.8 degrees Celsius warmer in the year 2100 than that in 1990. As a result, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the supreme body of the Convention that reviews the implementation of the Convention. The UNFCCC established the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) to support the decision-making process. At the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015, South Korea announced its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 37% below the business-as-usual (BAU) by 2030.
Rising ocean temperatures and sea levels caused by climate change are changing the survival environment of marine life. Some marine plants are five times better in absorbing carbon dioxide than tropical rain forests. South Korea, with the fourth largest marine plant producer, has bigger ocean area than land for cultivation. The South Korean government is working to obtain certification for ocean plants as carbon dioxide absorber from international conventions.
In addition, the South Korean government aims to host the UN COP28 in 2022 to dispel worries on its climate policies. The hosting of the Cop28 will bring about more jobs in Korea. The southern city of Yeosu in South Gyeongsang Province is considered the most suitable candidate to host the Conference. Yeosu hosted the Yeosu Expo back in 2012 and is the optimal region to respond to climate change using oceans and manage marine resources in a sustainable manner. Furthermore, cities hoping to host the COP28 need to have a large convention center. Yeosu has the infrastructure, including a large convention center from the Expo 2012. The city is also accessible by land and sea and satisfies qualifications for sea routes.
Above all, Yeosu has the experience of working to host the COP28 before the Yeosu Expo in 2012. Hosting the COP28 will serve as a catalyst for economic recovery. It will also help drive policies, establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, and improve the country’s economic and diplomatic competitiveness.