Global top-class online conference '2021 P4G Seoul Summit', held at DDP Seoul on the 30th~31st last month
Participated by institutions, academia, and civic group from 12 countries/
Discussed energy, water, food, urban and circular economy issues/
Maximized convenience of the 'virtual event platform'/
Another confirmation of Seoul's significance as a 'MICE city'
The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit, Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, was completed at Seoul's proud unique venue Dongdaemun Design Plaza(DDP) on the 31st of last month. The leaders of 12 countries agreed that the environment means the future and adopted the Seoul Declaration. Prior to the summit, environmental expert meetings and events were held for six days as part of ‘Green Future Week (May 24- 29)’ in various places in Seoul. Having seamlessly connected Green Future Week to the P4G Seoul Summit, the global MICE city Seoul earned the evaluation that it held a large-scale online event attended by country heads in a safe and sophisticated manner in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, hence leaving another mark on the global MICE industry. Launched in September 2017, P4G is a global consultative body that responds to climate change and accelerates sustainable development by supporting public-private partnerships. Twelve partner countries include Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Vietnam, Mexico, Kenya, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and others. International organizations such as WEF and GGGI, private companies such as SKT, and various stakeholders such as academia and civil society take part in P4G. Public-private partnerships in △energy △water △food/agricultural △urban, and △circular economy topics are its five major areas of concern.
Global leaders and experts aspiring to achieve green growth put forward the 'Carbon Neutrality' unanimously as action agenda. The carbon neutrality refers to achieving net-zero emissions through measures to absorb carbon dioxide. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, in his keynote speech at the Energy Session on the 31st of last month, that despite the strong desire to solve the climate change issues witnessed through the carbon neutrality declarations adopted by countries and companies, the reality of achieving it is a long way as this year is expected to record the second-highest growth rate of carbon emission. He asserted that comprehensive innovation of the energy system is required to achieve carbon neutrality and the highest priority is to apply advanced technologies such as next-generation batteries and CCS to the global energy system while leveraging existing solar power, wind power, and electric car technologies to a maximum.
A leading Korean energy company Hanwha Solutions is currently developing technologies to reduce carbon emissions using big data and AI. The company planted 500,000 trees around the world through its recent 'Solar Forest Campaign' aimed at growing seedlings and planting trees using solar energy. Dong-Kwan Kim, CEO of Hanwha Solutions, said, "We are pursuing innovations including smarter and sustainable energy production technologies in the face of climate change, the greatest challenge of mankind. H2GT technology that applies hydrogen to gas turbine and energy management software utilizing big data and AI will be able to contribute to the reduction of carbon emission."
"We recognize the climate crisis as an urgent global threat whose impacts reach beyond the environment agenda to include economic, social, security and human rights-related challenges. We reaffirm that the fight against COVID-19 leaves important lessons for the global response to the climate crisis and believe that the pandemic should be overcome through green recovery as a progressive strategy. (Omitted) We need to engage in inclusive partnerships in which governments, businesses, and civil society are part of collective solutions, for current and future generations. (From the Seoul Declaration)
On the 31st of last month, when the closing ceremony was held, heads of the states adopted the Seoul Declaration expressing their commitment to solving climate and environmental issues through collective efforts at a global level. The Seoul Declaration included △overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic through green recovery △limiting the temperature increase to below 1.5°C △facilitating phase-out of coal-based energy, and △responding to marine plastic issues.
The leaders discussed international cooperation in dealing with climate change and promoting sustainable development in the process of adopting the declaration. They also promised to strengthen networks among the government, business, international organizations, and civil society and to identify and support public-private partnership projects. In particular, they confirmed each other's commitment to supporting developing countries to address climate change and achieve sustainable development, otherwise left in the blind spot, by funding or connecting partners such as governments, businesses, and international organizations for partnership programs.
The apparent pinnacle of the P4G Seoul Green Future Summit is the virtual event platform(2021p4g-seoulsummit.kr). Comprised of seven sections of △program, △special session hall, △summit hall, △basic session hall, △media gallery, △networking lounge, and △ancillary events, the P4G platform maximized the 'accessibility' of the online virtual event venue. Its concise structure yet with detailed information scores high points. The platform was designed to allow anyone to join meetings, events, and networking without having to peruse the manual.
For example, program schedules, often uploaded as an image file on other event platforms, were hyperlinked on the P4G platform, so people can click the schedule to see the details or the live broadcast of the corresponding session. These features were available for all sections - basic sessions, special sessions, or the summit hall, in the same manner. Almost no time was wasted looking up the user manual to view the video of the meeting. Each session had a good digest of its basic description, speaker's background, and pictures, which made it easier to play the video immediately.
All P4G sessions were broadcast live with Korean and English translation services (including subtitles). Those videos were made available on the platform and YouTube from anywhere at any time even after the event, and can be played back even at 10 times quicker than regular speed using the 'Speed Up Playback' function.
In addition, the networking lounge and the ancillary event halls were organized as the space for P4G partner organizations and the event participants to introduce and promote policies, programs, business, R&D, and campaigns related to climate change. As meetings and networking were held concurrently in six fields including food, agriculture, water, and energy, participants were likely to get lost within the platform. To minimize the confusion of participants who would access from all over the world, the platform offered options in three layers: △by group, △by topic, and △by area, helping to narrow down the target institutions or people.
The P4G Summit, held as the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit this year, is held every two years and hosted by partner countries in rotation. The second P4G Summit was supposed to be held in Korea last year after its first in Denmark in 2018. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Summit to this year.
This Summit, held in an online-oriented hybrid format, signaled that the MICE city Seoul is ready to safely host offline events participated by world leaders, experts, and citizens. Seoul successfully hosted the UIA Asia Pacific General Assembly online last September by inviting participants to the VR technology-based '3D Virtual Space Seoul' from all over the world. This year saw the completion of GBCC2021, another large-sized international conference safely held with the support of Seoul.