The South Korean President is in the UAE on a state visit Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: In a Joint Declaration on Climate Action, the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea affirmed that climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the world today, as a result of its negative repercussions on the economic, environmental, social and security aspects.

The two countries underscored that collective commitment to confronting climate change should not be affected by geopolitical challenges, energy and food crisis, and the repercussions of the global pandemic.

This came during the state visit of Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea, to the UAE.


The Joint Declaration on Climate Action is as follows:

"1. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirate (UAE), and Yoon Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), both acknowledged that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges with economic, environmental, social, security and human rights consequences for the international community. The Leaders emphasised that the current landscape of geopolitical challenges, the energy and food crisis and the residual impacts of the global pandemic should not impede collective commitment to addressing climate change.

2. The two Leaders agreed to bolster actions to tackle the climate crisis at the national level and collectively. In this regard, they recognised the urgent need to achieve the 1.5℃ temperature goal of the Paris Agreement and reaffirmed their willingness to work together bilaterally and in the multilateral arena centred on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) processes to ensure effective implementation of both countries' respective 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and net-zero emission goals by 2050.

3. President Yoon congratulated the UAE as the selected host country of the 28th Session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP28) in 2023 and extended his full support to the UAE’s COP28 Presidency. President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in turn, expressed his deep gratitude for the ROK’s support. The two Leaders envisaged COP28 to be a COP of solidarity and of solutions that addresses mounting global challenges.

4. President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed ROK’s hosting of the Korean Global Adaptation Week 2023 in August, which will be a platform to showcase and promote actions and practices to adapt to the impacts of climate change, as well as contribute to meaningful outcomes for adaptation and resilience at COP28.

5. For effective climate action, the Leaders recognised the role of forests as a stabilising force for the climate as an effective carbon sink, enabler for the regulation of ecosystems, biodiversity protection and climate change nature-based solution. They reaffirmed commitments to raising ambition and implementation of global declarations and pledges on forests including the Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use issued at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference.

6. To lay the foundation for overarching climate cooperation between the UAE and ROK, the two Leaders agreed to pursue the conclusion of a bilateral [Framework Agreement on Climate Change Cooperation] in the first half of 2023. This framework will seek to facilitate action-oriented cooperative endeavours in areas such as greenhouse gas emission reduction, capacity enhancement on adaptation action as well as the scaling up and deployment of clean and green technologies.

7. Both Leaders noted the importance of promoting climate-friendly business environments and investments in clean energy technologies and projects. They also acknowledged the wide-ranging contributions by the private sector for climate mitigation and adaptation solutions to accelerate the transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. In this regard, the two Leaders appreciated the significant role of voluntary carbon markets for decarbonisation efforts by businesses beyond their own carbon footprint and welcomed the recently launched voluntary carbon trading initiatives between the private sectors of the two countries.

8. The two Leaders recognised the need to deepen collaboration in the energy sector, given its strategic importance for their respective economies, and to step up research and development and investments in new technologies to develop energy systems of the future. The two Leaders also underlined the importance of promoting clean energy and the rationalisation of the energy mix at all levels to diversify energy sources in line with their respective national circumstances.

9. The two Leaders pledged to work together in catalysing structured progress towards a sustainable and affordable energy transition through technology and project development and implementation, in the UAE, ROK and globally. They also agreed to identify and explore new mutually-beneficial commercial opportunities of interest to both parties by drawing on the respective strengths of their nations to create synergy.

10. The two Leaders underscored that financial support is key to consolidating climate action globally. On this matter, they pointed to the role of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support efforts of developing countries in responding to climate change and achieving net-zero goals by 2050, and welcomed the launch of the second replenishment of the GCF.

11. As founding members of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), the two Leaders applauded the expansion of the Institute in its organisation and undertakings to promote sustainable growth in developing countries. They also agreed to explore ways to scale up contributions to the Institute to accelerate developing countries' transition to green economies through technology, in recognition of the specific needs of small island developing states.

12. The two Leaders reached an agreement to immediately establish a bilateral ROK-UAE Climate Dialogue to occur at regular intervals with the aim of strengthening climate cooperation and implementation of this Declaration."