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|TITLE||Direction of Urban Policies in Response to a New Climate Change Regime|
Direction of Urban Policies in Response to a New Climate Change Regime
Kwangik Wang, Research Fellow
Kyoungsik Noh, Assistant Research Fellow
Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements
□ The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement on a post-2020 arrangement, which engages both developed countries and developing countries.
▪ The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) held in Marrakech, Morocco was the first meeting of the Parties since the Paris Agreement came into force. Accordingly, COP 22 is perceived as the “COP of action,” given its role in preparing a framework for the implementation of the agreement.
□ The Korean government has introduced various policies across ministries in response to climate changes but still lacks comprehensive policies from the perspective of urban planning in preparation for a new climate change regime.
▪ The Korean government has established a cross-ministry response system headed by the prime minister and the deputy prime minister of economy to implement a new climate change regime. However, the new policy measures are oriented toward new technology development and are not well aligned with urban area planning.
□ The introduction of a new climate change regime calls for comprehensive urban policies, taking into consideration that urban areas are a major source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions and are affected by climate changes.
▪ Urban policies should be prepared in a way that makes urban areas more energy efficient and resilient. Such policy development should be accompanied by concrete financing plans and institutional overhauls that enable quantitative controls through greenhouse gas reduction targets.
① Mitigation of climate change requires urban policies to shift focus from greenhouse gas emission control regulation towards a remaking of urban areas to encourage energy-efficient economic activities in residential, commercial and business areas, industrial parks and transportation. The development of urban policies needs to take advantage of high-level big data on space use patterns.
② Adaptation to climate changes requires urban planning, which prepares cities against unpredictable natural and other disasters and makes them more resilient in the face of increasing environmental challenges such as landslides, earthquakes, heat waves and cold snaps.
③ In terms of financial aspects, the focus of financing should be placed on the implementation of climate change programs in the context of urban planning, which takes into consideration climate-change mitigation and adaptation. In addition, institutional frameworks should be in place to encourage the private sector’s participation.
④ In terms of institutional frameworks, legal systems equipped with the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) management should be introduced to oversee policy progress according to specific quantitative targets.
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