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Ex-U.N. chief calls for bolder global efforts to adopt renewable energy

All Headlines 14:01 October 21, 2019

By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- Former United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called Monday for greater international efforts to expand the adoption of renewable energy so as to achieve the shared goal of policy transition toward sustainable development.

"We cannot overstate the importance of this broad, global objective. We -- the international community -- will need to adopt resolute measures to transform our fossil fuel-based energy systems," he said in a video message to the opening of the Global Green Growth Week (GGGW), an annual conference hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in Seoul.

"This transition towards renewable energy sources is not only about challenges. It presents new opportunities to modernize our energy systems, accelerate and diversify their economies, create green jobs, increase productivity and competitiveness and reduce poverty," he said.

Green growth calls for seeking economic growth through environment-friendly technologies and industries. Under that initiative, South Korea set up GGGI on its soil to help develop strategies to promote the environment-friendly cause.

The green growth week, running through Friday, is an annual gathering of the 33 GGGI member countries and related participants from around the globe with an aim to promote green growth and sustainability and discuss key issues such as air pollution.

Ban, current chairman of the GGGI Council, underscored the importance of taking concrete actions, especially at government levels, to advance the transformation to renewable energy.

"Governments need to take advantage of the rapidly falling cost of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. They also need to abandon fossil fuel subsidies and instead provide incentives for businesses to invest in clean energy infrastructure and technologies," he said.

"This energy transformation could greatly impact the labor markets, investment landscapes and even the way we do business."

He voiced hope that this week's conference will serve as a chance to explore various dimensions associated with the topics in a way that would better support countries to create the right policy for green growth transition.

GGGI is a treaty-based organization established in Seoul in 2012, focusing on supporting and promoting ways for inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing and emerging countries.

This file photo shows former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon making a speech at a cultural event in the southwestern city of Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on Oct. 10, 2019. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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