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Lee: Green growth think tank to officially launch as int'l organization

All Headlines 10:06 May 10, 2012

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said Thursday a Seoul-based think tank on developing strategies for green growth will officially launch as an international organization during a U.N. climate change meeting later this year.

South Korea established the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in 2010 under Lee's trademark campaign to seek economic growth by boosting environment-friendly technologies and industries. The institute's first overseas office opened in the Danish capital of Copenhagen last year.

During an opening speech at the second Green Growth Summit in Seoul, Lee said the institute will formally launch as an international organization during October's ministerial meeting in Seoul aimed at laying the groundwork for the U.N. Climate Change Conference, also known as "COP 18," set for December in Qatar.

"We are about to see the GGGI turn into an international organization," Lee said during the speech. "With the GGGI's transformation into an international organization, green growth that South Korea has advocated is becoming a shared asset of the international community beyond borders."

Lee also said South Korea will increase the proportion of environment-friendly "green projects" to 30 percent of its total official development assistance (ODA) by 2020. The proportion of green ODA projects rose to 14.1 percent of the total ODA projects in 2007-2010.

Green growth has been one of Lee's trademark policies and calls for lessening South Korea's dependence on fossil fuels and promoting the development of alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power, and other technologies that increase energy efficiency.

Lee believes the strategy will provide South Korea with fresh growth engines for its economy and help the country -- one of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters -- reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases amid growing calls to curb global warming.

The two-day green growth summit is aimed at discussing ways to strengthen international cooperation to support countries that wish to pursue green growth and green economy strategies under the main theme "Global Governance for Green Growth and the Green Economy."

Key participants include UNEP executive director Achim Steiner, OECD director of the environment Simon Upton, GGGI chairman Han Seung-soo, Danish Crown Prince Frederik, Kiribati's President Anote Tong and Masayoshi Son, the chairman and chief executive of Japan's Softbank Corp.

South Korea hopes to develop the summit into a premier forum for global discussions on green growth, similar to the World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Forum.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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