NEAN 2010 : An Essay for Environment Workshop Session
Junho Lee (SLEST Associate, POSTECH)
Revised by Changsuk Yoon and Ju-yeun Song
From the industry revolution to the era of globalization, the evolution that mankind has undergone so far gives not only the increase in quality of human life but also the destruction of environment. Focusing on the climate change, UNPD Human Development Report 2007/2008 emphasized that 50% cut of greenhouse gas emissions until 2050 over 1990 is required to prevent catastrophic climate change. Recent discussions on climate change in Copenhagen did not reach its conclusion. The crisis of environment is approaching much closer.
With the tremendous efforts from various nations and great individuals, the challenge on environmental crisis has been reachable. Still, more investment and development is needed in the context of global unification and sustainability. My understanding and interest on environment stems from the responsibility of the globe as a whole—no nation can achieve the goal with its lone effort—and focuses on climate change.
Developed countries possess capability enough to adopt the international agreements over climate change problems. Technologies and industrial abilities are mature and ready to serve the humanity to face the environmental issues. It is no big deal for the countries with such a huge market and economy to participate and manage the carbon economy.
However, it is a true disaster, which even threatens the existence of a nation and the peace of international society, to developing countries that preparing themselves for immediately implementing those global policies is nearly impossible. A worldwide action to balance and cultivate the technological or economical capacity is inevitable in order to overcome the calamity and successfully root sustainability onto the earth. Developing nations with insufficient capabilities would pose an uncertainty in putting the international enactment into practice. This risk would somehow return to the developed countries in the near future. That is, developed countries have a duty to enable developing countries to properly realize the environment deal. Collaboration among powerful nations has become no more than the essential. Global investment and aid from the developed nations should be the first and foremost requirement to the developing ones to make the environment saved and sustainable.
And this is not a simple economic matter that is easily and generally regarded. Without the sound social fundamentals, including politics, economy, and culture, the exertions poured into the developing countries cannot result in revolution to overcome the environmental crisis. Every country has to broaden its view to avoid temporary and volatile efforts that no longer lasts than a few years, as only for the short duration would the earth extend its longevity.
I want to search the roles and responsibility of North East Asian nations in the context of capability adaptation to the developing countries by participating NEAN. NEAN will be a great chance not only for me to share my view on environment especially focusing on developing countries, but also for every participant to step forward in achieving environmental sustainability and its background necessities. I hope the efforts of NEAN participants including me would finally change the world.