South Korea urged to take lead against
Dec 31, 2008 - Asia Pulse
United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon Tuesday urged his fellow South Koreans to
take the lead in international efforts to reduce emissions
of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
In a New Year's message in Korean, Ban
called on the South Korean government to actively
work with the United Nations, which has designated
2009 as the year focusing on the issue of climate
"The international community is anticipating
South Korea's role and contributions commensurate
with its national power, which stands at the world's
10th biggest," Ban said.
"Against this backdrop, I, as Korean
secretary-general of the United Nations, will do my
best to secure peace in the world."
Ban described global warming as "threatening
the future of humankind and the earth" and a problem
"that should be tackled by the international community
on a top priority basis."
Ban thanked South Koreans for their
full support, allowing him to perform successfully
as chief of the global body since his inauguration
early last year.
In a recent public survey for the next
president, Ban ranked in popularity second only to
Park Geun-hey, former head of South Korea's ruling
Grand National Party.
Park is the daughter of former President
Park Chung-hee, who, under iron-fisted rule for 19
years until 1979, is credited with leading war-ravaged
South Korea to an economic miracle.
South Korea announced at the recently
concluded annual ministerial meeting on the Kyoto
Protocol on Climate Change in Poland that it will
present an interim roadmap for voluntary reduction
of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of next year,
although it is not obliged to cut gas emissions as
are advanced economies.
Other developing nations are expected
to follow suit with voluntary reduction in emissions
of greenhouse gases in the coming years.
The Kyoto Protocol, which took effect
in 2005, calls for advanced economies to reduce by
2012 gas emissions by about 5 percent from the 1990
South Korea recorded the biggest increase
rate in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions
between 1990 and 2004.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak
said in August that his government will invest heavily
in the development of environment-friendly technology
for the coming years to help boost economic development
with less consumption of greenhouse gas-emitting energy.