At the end of last year, Gyeonggi-do(province) was selected as the host local government for ICLEI Korea from 2023 to 2027. As the head of the host local government, Governor Dong-Yeon Kim was appointed as a member of the Global Executive Committee for the 2021-2024 term. Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI, welcomed this appointment and stated, “I am excited to have Governor Kim represent the ICLEI East Asia region on our global governance body, and we look forward to leverage his experience and leadership to build the strength of our global representative body.”
To honor being selected as the host local government by ICLEI, Gyeonggi-do held a declaration ceremony to announce the ‘Gyeonggi RE100 Vision’ in April 2023. The RE100 is a global campaign to cover 100% of energy usage with renewable energy to overcome the climate crisis. To realize this vision, which aims to expand renewable energy facilities to 9 GW by 2026, public institutions in Gyeonggi-do have committed to using 100% renewable energy. Through this initiative, Gyeonggi-do plans to increase the proportion of renewable energy generation from 5.8% in 2021 to 30% in 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.
The Gyeonggi RE100 vision mirrors Gyeonggi-do’s bold climate crisis response under the slogan “Turn Today’s Climate Crisis into Tomorrow’s Growth Opportunity.” Gyeonggi-do has outlined practical measures in four areas of public service, business, citizens and industry to achieve the Gyeonggi RE100 vision.
In the public sector, Gyeonggi-do has a plan to search for installation sites, including public institutions, government offices and idle land to install solar power generation equipment on the rooftops and parking lots. By doing so, it will convert the electricity consumption to renewable energy.
In terms of the industrial and corporate sectors, Gyeonggi-do plans to allocate the supply of renewable energy to newly established industrial complexes with plans to introduce renewable energy and promote private-public cooperation for roof-type solar power generation.
Last but not least, Gyeonggi-do plans to implement policies that connect renewable energy generation to citizens’ income to expand citizens’ participation. Gyeonggi-do’s plan contains promoting RE100 points, which provide financial incentives for the performances that generate social value but are not adequately paid back in the market. The efforts to overcome the climate crisis are viewed as an essential social value that generates such income opportunities.
At the vision declaration ceremony, Gyeonggi-do Climate Ambassador and 40 Gyeonggi-do Carbon Neutral Green Growth Committee members were appointed to push ahead the Gyeonggi RE100 vision. Geumsil Kang, who is the current CEO of Law Firm Won and former Minister of Justice (2003~2004), was designated as the Climate Ambassador of Gyeonggi-do.
As Gyeonggi-do is willing to strengthen its cooperation with other provincial governments, cities and counties regarding sharing experiences and challenges to tackle climate issues, Ambassador Kang is expected to play a role as a bridge between local governments in the international community and Gyeonggi-do by sharing climate policies and resolving difficult matters in addition to carbon neutral policy advice.
ICLEI Korea expressed its delight at the host local government’s enthusiasm in addressing climate change, which in turn, leads to significant strides in accomplishing the SDGs. Given that the threat of climate crisis is more prevalent than ever before, Gyeonggi-do’s decision to bring together collective wisdom to face climate change could not be more timely or relevant. Widespread and enormous impacts of climate change, longer lasting droughts, more intense storms, rising sea levels, increasing number of species under biodiversity crisis and exacerbating existing inequities, has already started to affect lives across the globe.
To tackle the inadvertent climate crisis that lies before us, ICLEI Korea will continue supporting Gyeonggi-do with capacity building and knowledge sharing so that the host local government of ICLEI Korea could realize its RE100 vision.