The Kyunghyang Forum was established in celebration of the Kyunghyang Shinmun's 70th anniversary and has since shed light on the most pertinent issues in Korean society as well as what potential solutions there may be. This year marks the sixth iteration of the Forum and is given the theme of "Living with the Climate Crisis: The Path to Survival."
It is no secret that the sense of crisis in regards to our climate is growing rapidly. Nevertheless, there are also naysayers who dispute its severity by touting "There is surely enough being done about the crisis," or "Matters of economic survival are more important than climate." These may be true to some degree, as numerous governments are utilizing the carbon neutrality concept to seek solutions while simultaneously attempting to revive the global economy decimated by COVID-19 by introducing "green new deals" of different kinds. However, we can all agree that the pace of these solutions is much too slow compared to the rate at which the climate conditions are worsening.
This year's Forum is proud to feature as keynote speakers: former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is now leading the Global Commission on Adaptation as well as National Council on Climate and Air Quality; former Vice President Al Gore, who received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize alongside the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Jeremy Rifkin, world-renown economist and author of The Global Green New Deal; and Yannick Glemarec, Secretary-General of the Green Climate Fund. In addition, we have a special one-on-one discussion scheduled between Mr. Rifkin and Vice President Gore, which we are particularly interested in what prognoses and solutions they may discuss, given their enormous global influence on the climate crisis and other environmental matters.
The afternoon session will feature presentations and discussion by: David Wallace-Wells, who is the author of The Uninhabitable Earth; Hope Jahren, author of The Story of More; Michael E. Mann, the Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State; and Angel Hsu, Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina and founder of the Data-Driven EnviroLab. Moderating this outstanding panel is Professor Hong Jong-Ho from Seoul National University's Graduate School of Environmental Sciences, who is among Korea's leading experts on the economy and environment. The Forum will have a special lecture by Cho Hyo-je, author of The End of Carbon Society.
Given that last year's Forum theme was COVID-19 and its aftermath, it seemed only appropriate that the issue of climate crisis would be the next grand topic to be addressed in the following year. Some may remember that during last year's discussions, there were several experts who pointed to climate change as a possible background or cause to the COVID-19 crisis. Even as the exact cause is still illusive, there have been two things that were made certain last year: one is that human beings everywhere are "closely connected" and the other is "no matter how sudden the changes, we can all adapt while impending crises can always be overcome."
The climate crisis is much like COVID-19 in that these are problems that require the cooperation of everyone. We are hopeful that this year's Kyunghyang Forum would become a turning point in solving the the problem we now refer to as the "climate catastrophe."
|The Kyunghyang Forum 2021
|Living with the Climate Crisis: The Path to Survival
|Wednesday, June 23, 2021 (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
|Crystal Ballroom (2nd floor), Lotte Hotel Seoul
|Simultaneous interpretation provided in English & Korean
|The Kyunghyang Shinmun
|Ministry of Economy and Finance;
Ministry of Science and ICT;
Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism;
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy;
Ministry of Environment;
Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries; Seoul Metropolitan Government; The Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry