Seminar & Forum The 3rd Forum on Carbon Neutrality Goals of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea 2024.03.07
On March 7, 2024, the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the Climate Action Team at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (EOSG/CAT) jointly organized the 3rd Forum on Carbon Neutrality Goals of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea. 

Held in-person for the first time, experts from China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia, including policymakers at national and local levels, academics, and business peopleemphasized the critical roles of digital innovation, and just transition strategies. The forum illuminated the integration of global commitments into national policies, showcased digital innovations driving sectoral transitions, and best practices of policies and stakeholder engagement for a just transition. 

At the opening session, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP mentioned “In light of the reaffirmed commitments by China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century and their leadership in elevating climate action in the Asia-Pacific region, it is very clear that our collective action is more vital than ever,” in her opening remarks. 

Lee Hee-sup, Secretary-General of the TCS stated "North-East Asia is no exception in this global crisis. China, Japan and Korea have been active forerunners in addressing climate change and promoting cooperation to tackle this common threat.". SG Lee added, "The theme of this year’s Forum – digital innovation for carbon neutrality – could not be timelier given the unique position of China, Japan and Korea in leading global climate action and their reaffirmation to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050/2060." 

Subsequently, Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General for the Climate Action Team, contributed valuable insights into the practical steps needed for a sustainable future. He remarked, "At COP28, all governments agreed to transition away from fossil fuels to achieve net zero by 2050, underscoring the urgency of phasing out coal by 2030 in OECD countries and by 2040 for the rest of the world, along with reducing oil and gas production and use during this pivotal decade." 

Keynote speaker, Liu Zhenmin, Special Envoy for Climate Change of China, capitalized on the crucial roles of the three countries’ efforts in climate change by highlighting that “China, Japan and the Republic of Korea are important drivers for both Asian and global economic development, as well as key participants in global climate governance. Achieving carbon neutrality/net-zero emissions is not only the common vision of us, but also a favorable opportunity for East Asia to achieve the green transformation in our economy.” He further highlighted the importance of empowering green development by digitization, sharing “the future of global governance will be characterized by digitization and decarbonization.” 

The outcomes of the forum will be presented to the dialogue on subregional cooperation during the 80th ESCAP Commission Session and will also be reported to the 25th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting. 

▲Group photo 

▲TCS SG Lee making remarks 

▲Keynote speech from Liu Zhenmin, Special Envoy for Climate Change, China 

▲During Session1 

▲Q&A session during session 2