Korean forum underscores industry-academia-government ties for carbon neutrality

2023.05.22 10:04:02 | 2023.05.22 11:32:01

The Forum attendees pose for a photo at the Korea Science and Technology Center in Gangnam, southern Seoul, on May 19. [Photo provided by Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth]이미지 확대

The Forum attendees pose for a photo at the Korea Science and Technology Center in Gangnam, southern Seoul, on May 19. [Photo provided by Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth]



A research innovation platform that engages companies, government, and universities will be needed for South Korea to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Seoul National University (SNU), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and the Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth on Friday held a forum on nurturing talent for carbon neutral innovative technology at the Korea Science and Technology Center in Gangnam, southern Seoul.

The forum was held to discuss diverse perspectives on the methodologies to realize carbon neutrality in response to climate crisis.

The forum was held in three parts.

In part one, 16 professors from SNU and KAIST gave presentations on the theme of “Innovative, Carbon Neutral Science and Technology” and introduced a number of technologies such as solar cells, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Experts shared the view that carbon neutrality must be achieved with technology.

“Technology of a carbon neutral society needs a new system that is different from the existing engineering technology based on fossil fuel,” said SNU President Hong-lim Ryu in his keynote address.

“The technologies presented at this forum will become the core technologies for the future.”

Developed countries are already investing large amount of funds in carbon neutral science and technology.

Focus is on talent development as technology is developed by the people. Stanford University and Harvard University in the U.S. have decided to invest 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion) and 200 billion won each in carbon neutral innovation technology and nurturing talent in the area.

Experts say that Oxford University in England, Tsinghua University in China, and Tokyo University in Japan are also accelerating investments.

SNU will establish a climate technology center in collaboration with the Presidential Commission on Carbon Neutrality this year. KAIST has also established the Graduate School of Green Growth in March.

In the second part of the forum, presentations on the direction and status of talent development for carbon neutrality were delivered under the theme of “Carbon Neutral Future Talent.”

“Education in the carbon neutral era requires scientific minds, critical thinking skills, and an environment that allows participation in sustainable development,” said Cho Hong-sik, a professor at SNU School of Law.

Part three of the forum was moderated by Kim Sang-hyup, co-chairperson of the presidential committee. A general debate was attended by Professor Lee Sang-yup of KAIST, Professor Nam Ki-tae of SNU, LG Chem Ltd. Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Shin Hak-cheol, SK E&S Co. CEO Choo Hyeong-wook, Samsung Electronics Co. President Nam Seok-woo, and Hyundai Motor Co. Senior Vice President Kim Dong-wook.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said in his congratulatory remarks that “nurturing talent that can make a difference with new thinking, knowledge, and technology in the era of carbon neutral green growth is what Korea can do best.”

By Ko Jae-won, Kang Min-ho, and Park Na-eun, and Choi Jieun

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