Seminar & Forum The 2nd Forum on Carbon Neutrality Goals of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea 2023.02.07

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Climate Action Team at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (EOSG/CAT) and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) jointly organized a high-level forum virtually today to create a platform to share policy practices and explore collaboration between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea on the carbon neutrality transition.


The year 2023 will be a major inflection point on climate change with two major milestones: the Climate Ambition Summit convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the inaugural Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28). China, Japan and the Republic of Korea have reaffirmed their commitments for reducing carbon emissions to achieve carbon neutrality, and are critical actors as major economies in the global response to tackle the climate crisis. 


The Forum served as a timely platform bringing together government officials as well as experts from international organizations and academia to strengthen and reaffirm the leadership of the three countries in reducing emissions to achieve carbon neutrality and to close the emissions gap. 


In her opening remarks, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP said that “the world needs the strong leadership of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, which together account for about 28 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.” 


Ou Boqian, Secretary-General of Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat welcomed this year’s speakers and participants, who are not only government officials but also representatives from new energy industries. She emphasized that “without their input and involvement, it would be a mission impossible to achieve our carbon neutrality goals”. 


“Clean fossil fuels do not exist. Less dirty is still dirty. Brown, grey, blue – nothing is truly clean unless it is fully green,” added Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General for the Climate Action Team. Stressing the need to make real progress this year in narrowing the global emissions gap, Mr. Hart added: “China, Japan and Korea are uniquely well placed to jumpstart the renewables revolution domestically, regionally and internationally.” 


At the Forum, experts examined the regional status of climate response and sustainable transition and shared national, subnational and sectoral good practices, as well as the latest strategies, measures and experiences of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The Forum facilitated discussions from policies to technologies that could further accelerate, promote and strengthen regional climate action. 


It also identified the common challenges of China, Japan and the ROK regarding climate action and suggested approaches towards a carbon-neutral region with new ideas on incorporating trilateral and multilateral cooperation into existing carbon neutrality efforts. It further fostered an exchange of views on how they can individually and jointly mobilize support and cooperation to accelerate transitions to net-zero emissions domestically and in other countries. 


Outcomes of the Forum will be presented during the 79th ESCAP Commission Session under the theme of “Accelerating climate action in Asia and the Pacific”. It will also be reported to the 9th China-Japan-Korea Ministerial Conference on Transport and Logistics. 


▲Group photo of speakers at the 2nd Forum on Carbon Neutrality Goals of CJK