Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed agreement to share achievements of air
quality improvement in the Seoul metropolitan area with the
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, December 29, 2020 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, and the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) signed an agreement on the “Joint Evaluation of Air Quality Improvement in the Seoul Metropolitan Area” on December 28 in an effort to discover and spread international best practices for air quality improvement in East Asia.
They agreed to make a consensus among countries and cooperate in solving the ultra-national problem of fine dust. They will also push for a “joint evaluation of air quality improvement in the Seoul metropolitan area.”
Along with the UNEP, an international environmental organization, and domestic and international research institutes, this agreement aims to publish a global assessment report by objectively evaluating the efforts and achievements of improving air quality in the Seoul metropolitan area between 2005 and 2019. In addition, it is also to share it with the international community by presenting the excellent air environmental policies of the Seoul metropolitan area at international events, including the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
The final global assessment report will be released during the sixth UNEA in 2023, which will draw keen attention from the world in the environment sector, as well as through important international events such as the Asia-Pacific Environment Ministers’ Meeting hosted by the UNEP.
Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province are virtually one community connected together, and they were designated as one atmospheric management zone in 2003 under the special act on the improvement of air quality in the Seoul metropolitan area. Besides, they have been pushing for unique measures to improve air quality in the Seoul metropolitan area, such as the limitation of the total air pollutant emission and the emission trading scheme.
They have also formed and operated the Seoul Metropolitan Air Quality Administration under the Ministry of Environment and the policy council between Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province. They have jointly responded to pending issues such as low emission zones and issuing emergency measures to reduce fine dust pollution.
The UNEP is the UN’s dedicated organization for environmental issues established under the resolution of the 27th General Assembly of the United Nations in 1972.
Kwon Min, Director-General of Climate Change & Energy at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Yoo Hoon-soo, Director of Environment at the Incheon Metropolitan City, and Eom Jin-seop, Director of Environment at the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, said, “The improvement of air quality in the Seoul metropolitan area is a result of the simultaneous implementation of regulations and inducements through mutual cooperation between the central and local governments, which could be a good example of benchmarking other cities and countries seeking a balance between environmental protection and economic growth.” They added, “Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province will continue to cooperate to improve air quality in the Seoul metropolitan area, and continue to discover international best practices for reducing fine dust to become a channel of sharing Korea’s advanced air pollution improvement technologies and information around the world.”