The world’s attention turned to Sharm el-Sheikh as it hosted the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) from November 6-18.
Broad international participation from around the world is expected, with more than 40,000 people representing some 197 countries and dozens of international and regional organizations taking part in the annual climate change negotiations, with the aim of discussing the way forward to reduce the negative impacts of climate change. and adapt to its effects. On this occasion, Daily News Egypt interviewed Na Kyung-won, South Korea’s presidential special envoy for climate and environment, during her visit to Egypt to participate in COP27.
How do you assess relations between Egypt and South Korea?
Egypt and Korea are currently enjoying the best government-to-government cooperation since 2016, when the comprehensive cooperative partnership was established following President El-Sisi’s official visit to Seoul. We have also had many high-level exchanges recently such as the call between two presidents in October, the visit of the Korean president to Cairo in January and the visit of the speaker of the Parliament in 2021. All these show how important our relationship is. advanced.
I am attending the COP27 leaders’ meeting as the Presidential Special Envoy for Climate Change, as discussed during the phone call between the two leaders, which reflects Korea’s expectations for the success of COP27.
Nevertheless, we need the continued support of the peoples of both countries to sustain the excellent bilateral relations. Therefore, the South Korean government spares no effort to improve mutual understanding between the two peoples through active public diplomacy. I ask for the Egyptian people’s continued interest in developing the person-to-person interaction between Egypt and Korea.
What are Seoul’s priority issues in cooperation with Egypt?
Two countries show significant achievements in the field of economic cooperation. Many Korean companies like Samsung and LG have manufacturing plants in Egypt, and the El Dabaa nuclear power plant project and Hyundai Rotem metro car supply project are underway. This form of cooperation is not just about exporting Korean products to Egypt. On the contrary, the products are co-produced in Egypt for use in Egypt and exported out of Egypt. Our cooperation brings benefits to both sides, and we hope there will be more mutually beneficial products.
Recently, the area of cooperation has expanded to broader topics, including defense industries. In February 2022, Korea signed to supply the K-9 howitzer to Egypt, and in August, the Egyptian and Korean air forces together presented Pyramids Airshow 2022. The cultural cooperation which has already started through the protocol of he bilateral agreement on the exchange of cultural heritage signed last January is another example of the expansion of cooperation
We also have various areas for future cooperation, such as tourism. In August, the Korean government lowered the travel alert level for Egypt, which will surely attract many Korean tourists to visit Egypt.
How does South Korea view Egypt’s hosting of COP27? What are the expected outcomes of COP27?
Extreme weather events, such as heat waves, forest fires, floods, droughts, etc., observed all over the world remind us that the international community must accelerate efforts to tackle climate change.
In particular, amid the energy and food security crises caused by the war in Ukraine, members of the international community should strengthen their cooperation so as not to delay implementation efforts to achieve the 1.5 degree goal. .
In this spirit, we highly appreciate Egypt’s efforts to host COP27 and maintain the momentum of the international community to fight climate change.
Based on these invaluable efforts, we must achieve balanced progress in the area of climate change adaptation and we expect to have constructive discussions on loss and damage, the agenda in which developing countries are very interested. .
We look forward to seeing progress in the COP27 negotiations and discussions in the areas of mitigation, adaptation and climate finance.
Could you tell us about South Korea’s action plan to combat the impacts of climate change?
Korea, as a global hub state, will continue its efforts to realize the 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and 2050 Carbon Neutrality scenarios.
In particular, Korea will contribute to the success of COP27 by strengthening solidarity with the international community in the fight against climate change.
How can Egypt and South Korea cooperate in the future in the fight against climate change?
Egypt is already making tireless efforts to combat climate change, not only in Egypt but also across Africa. For its part, Egypt has already launched the national climate strategy 2050 and is launching many green growth projects.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea has chosen Egypt as a strategic partner for development cooperation from 2021 to 2025. In addition, we have selected “environment and energy” as one of the main areas of cooperation. .
In this context, two countries can strengthen cooperation for various programs or projects in the fields of renewable energy, transport and other environment-related sectors through ODA or cooperation with Korean companies equipped with technologies. relevant.
We look forward to continuing our green cooperation and gaining fruitful results in the future. Also, we will continue to strive to contribute to Egypt’s green growth effort.
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