By Kang Seokhee
(Abebe’s concern and climate change)
- Abebe, a 15-year-old boy, is concerned about his future. His family cultivates coffee in southern Ethiopia. Although his family can make a living by producing specialty coffee at the moment, their harvest continues to decrease year by year due to abnormal climate.
- While Abebe began to plant trees around his village with neighbors to respond to climate change, he doubts whether it will be useful to the coffee production of his family.
- Indeed, Arabica coffee is sensitive to temperature; while it grows well at temperature of 15-24, coffee beans become rotten at high temperature. According to a botanical institute, climate change will diminish the arable land for Arabica coffee by 80 percent in 2080. Moreover, if the global temperature rises 2 degrees more than the current level, Arabica coffee may become extinct.
What will happen to Abebe’s family in the future? What can we do for them?
(Actions taken so far by the international community)
- As climate abnormalities have been persistent at every corner of the globe over the last several decades, the international community agreed that every country should act collectively as soon as possible in view of the urgency and seriousness of the issue. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals including climate actions were agreed at the United Nations in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for everyone by 2030. The Paris Agreement was accomplished as well in 2015 to request all countries to diminish greenhouse gas emission which is a major factor to increase the global temperature and disrupt climate.
- So, we have goals and commitments to build back the world better and greener. Now, it is time to keep the promise. Unfortunately, however, there is no global organ to make sure that their commitments are effectively implemented because implementation is made by voluntary actions of countries. So far, nevertheless, the international community made substantial progress as more and more countries joined in responding to climate change by making additional commitments or taking actions. Furthermore, Innovative ideas began to flow as well; green growth is one of them.
(Green Growth, P4G and the Seoul Summit)
- Green growth means the growth in which economic development is attained without environmental degradation through innovative technology which creates new industry and jobs. Clean energy such as the sun, wind and hydrogen instead of oil or carbon is used with green technology to protect environment. The green growth will enable us to reach the SDGs in a rapid and innovative way.
- There is a public-private global partnership which acts based on this creative idea; P4G, Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 is a platform accelerating innovative market-based partnerships to meet the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. 12 countries including the Republic of Korea and Ethiopia and more than 240 companies and civil societies are partners.
- In addressing climate change, P4G complements the government-led UN system as it is consultative body where businesses and civil societies as well as governments participate. It takes an action-oriented approach with innovative solutions to make real progress on climate change responses. In its trilateral partnership, companies act and invest with the support of civil societies while governments suggest timely and proper policies.
- In order to facilitate another action of P4G this year, the Republic of Korea will host the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit from May 30th to 31st under the theme of Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality. Heads of states and leaders of international organizations, businesses, academia, and civil societies will attend. Why is the theme Inclusive Green Recovery towards Carbon Neutrality?:we should take an inclusive approach as anyone or any country should not be left behind in our joint actions; greening measures must be ensured to rebuild economy in a sustainable manner and provide a solid foundation for achieving our final goal, Carbon Neutrality, by 2050.
- The summit program consists of a high level segment and breakout sessions(Thematic Sessions and Green Future Week). In the high level segment, the Leaders will exchange views on climate change and green growth. In the Green Future Week Session which will be held from May 24th to May 29th, 10 specific issues including green finance, green technology, next generation, forests, civil society and local government will be debated. Five main agendas such as water, circular economy, energy, cities, and food and agriculture will be discussed in the Thematic Sessions on May 31st.. The high level segment will be streamed live on you tube. Detailed information can be reached at the website of P4G Seoul Summit(2021p4g-seoulsummit.kr).
(Korea, Ethiopia and P4G)
- Korea and Ethiopia closely work together as members of P4G. President Sahle-Work Zewde will attend the high-level segment to share her opinion. Meanwhile, under the sponsorship of P4G, Korea Forest Service, EFCCC(Environment, Forest and Climate Change) of Ethiopia, GGGI(Global Green Growth Institute) and Korean companies proceed with a special project to restore forest and ensure sustainable coffee farming in Ethiopia. Their goal is to increase coffee production 10 times by linking Ethiopian farmers to the special coffee market in Korea with renewable energy and sustainable farming practice.
Abebe may need to know what is going on with global climate actions. I recommend him to watch the upcoming P4G summit online and be a bit more confident of his bright future with the slogan of the summit – Green We Go, Change We Make.
Kang Seokhee is Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Ethiopia