Yonhap News Agency recently reported the remarks of South Korea’s Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul regarding the security risks of climate change. The minister provided important commentary on both security risks, as well as the need for a more holistic partnership approach to tackling climatic risks in the Asia-Pacific region. The full article is worth reading and can be accessed here. The minister’s remarks were focused mostly on the Asia-Pacific region, but Cho Tae-yul has also spoken about the role of climatic factors in the Arctic, and expressed interest in Arctic Council membership for South Korea.
For your convenience, below are some excerpts from Vice Foreign Minister Cho’s remarks from the Yonhap News Agency article.
“The risks posed by the impacts of climate change such as frequent and intensive floods and droughts are real and have reached an intolerable level.”
“All these climate-induced risks, as a ‘threat multiplier,’ are exacerbating the social and economic crisis in states and regions that are already fragile and prone to conflict.”
“Last year, we saw millions of people in the world devastated by another extreme flood in Thailand, coastal instability due to rising sea levels in Tuvalu, severe droughts in China and the worst cold snap in a quarter of a century in Europe.”
“As the impacts of climate change become stronger and more diverse, so too do the global responses that require a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach.”
“I firmly believe that now is the right time to build an effective partnership in the Asia-Pacific region. This partnership should be a workable mechanism tapping our collective will, fully reflecting the perspective of climate security and translating all the wisdom into practical action.”