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ASEAN, South Korea agree to push for 'green growth'

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (R) shakes hands with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during a meeting in Seoul on June 3, 2009. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Seogwipo, South Korea (AFP) June 2, 2009
South Korean and Southeast Asian leaders agreed on Tuesday to work together to combat global warming and promote "green growth" in the fast developing region.

The pledge of environmentally friendly and sustainable growth came at the end of South Korea's two-day summit with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the southern resort island of Jeju.

The 11 leaders said in a joint statement they agreed to cooperate in improving energy efficiency and diversifying energy sources into nuclear power, hydropower, solar energy and bio-energy.

They promised to work closely to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and cut greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change.

"We attached great importance to regional energy cooperation in light of the volatile energy prices, climate change and the need for environmental protection," a joint statement said.

The ASEAN leaders noted South Korea's "low carbon, green growth" initiative for sustainable development, one of the main policies which President Lee Myung-Bak wanted to promote during the summit.

Lee escorted ASEAN leaders on a tour of a "Green Growth" exhibition showcasing South Korea's environmental policy and technologies.

He told the summit that climate change was "the most daunting task of humans that we can no longer delay tackling, and it is a challenge that cannot be overcome by only a few individual countries."

The South Korean president said Seoul would offer 200 million dollars for East Asia Climate Partnership activities aimed at sustainable growth in the region.

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