Green Revolution in Asia
By Na Jeong-ju
President Lee Myung-bak called on ASEAN member states to increase investment in energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technologies Tuesday, saying Asia should take the initiative in opening an era of low-carbon, green growth.
Lee unveiled a plan to provide $200 million to Asian countries through the East Asia Climate Partnership, which was launched last year by South Korea, to help develop green technologies.
``I hope ASEAN will create new economic growth engines and brace for climate change and a new economic paradigm through active investment in green areas,'' Lee said in a speech at the second session of the ASEAN-Korea Summit on Jeju. ``My country wants to become a key partner for ASEAN in developing green technologies.''
The South Korean head of state solicited ASEAN's full support for the proposed creation of a regional body to prevent destruction of forests.
Green growth is already an emerging industry in South Korea as the administration has embarked on multi-billion-dollar projects to refurbish four major rivers nationwide and develop clean sources of energy.
President Lee plans to visit Europe next month to sign agreements on the development of core green technologies and share related knowledge and experience.
In the lobby of the International Convention Center, the venue for the summit, South Korea opened booths to introduce Korea's green technologies to ASEAN leaders.
Products and technologies for solar energy, water, smart grids, fuel-cell cars, bio energy and wind power were on display.
President Lee invited the leaders of ASEAN countries to visit the booths Tuesday morning.
``This is our dream,'' Lee told the leaders, while visiting a section showcasing batteries and engines for electric cars.
Cheong Wa Dae said the ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit will help draw interest from regional partners in environmentally-friendly technologies and share common goals of green growth.
``Climate change is a daunting challenge for the world. At the same time, it provides a historic opportunity to us to develop partnerships between Korea and ASEAN,'' President Lee said. ``By initiating joint projects in forestation and development of clean energy and carbon reduction technologies, we can become the world's pioneers in those areas.''