Climate change and K-pop on the agenda at WCE
Visitors to the WCE examine mock-ups of renewable energy power plants.
Several government agencies and business organizations gathered in Busan to hold the inaugural World Climate Industrial Expo. The conference occurred from May 25 to 27 at BEXCO in the Haeundae-gu district. The summit combines three climate and energy industry fairs organized individually by the trade ministry, energy ministry and Busan City. It is now the nation's most significant forum on climate change and the energy industry.
The event was originally planned to take place in Seoul. However, Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon convinced the central government to relocate the expo to Busan because the WCE's content aligns with the city's 2030 World Expo theme of "Sustainable Living with Nature." The city hopes that hosting the WCE will add momentum to its candidacy of hosting the World Expo in 2030.
Twelve government ministries, including the environment, science, foreign and industry ministries, along with 14 public entities, such as the Busan City government, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Korea International Trade Association, collaborated on organizing the event. Large corporations, such as Samsung, Hyundai Motor Group, SK, POSCO and Hanwha Q CELLS also participated.
During a welcome reception on May 24, Mayor Park noted the climate expo would "raise Korea's status as a powerhouse in the climate industry." He also urged cooperation in the international community to respond to the climate crisis.
Organized under the theme of "Rising Above the Climate Crisis Towards Sustainable Prosperity," the WCE showcased the latest green technologies, products and policies in the environment and energy industries. Items of note included bioplastics, new fuel cells and more energy efficient batteries.
At the opening ceremony on May 25, Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, and Richard Mueller, a renowned physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, gave keynote speeches. Various conferences brought together prominent experts, industry leaders, government officials and representatives of international organizations under three categories돟 The Business Summit, City Summit and Leaders Summit.
During the Business Summit, global business leaders and high-ranking government officials discussed corporations' role in achieving a sustainable future. Speakers also discussed potential markets in the low-carbon energy industry. Finally, leaders discussed how corporations can increase their global competitiveness by focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and activities aimed at achieving carbon neutrality.
Mayors from cities worldwide exchange best practices and ideas on achieving carbon neutrality and sustainable urban development.
In the City Summit, leaders of cities worldwide discussed policies and cooperation measures aimed at sustainable urban planning.
Finally, during the Leaders Summit, officials from various countries and organizations discussed strategies and actions for international cooperation to protect the world's oceans.
Furthermore, the expo featured the latest innovations in clean energy, carbon neutrality and future mobility. The city also operated the World Expo 2030 Busan Promotion Zone to present content from its bid to host the global event.
The WCE also featured the New York Times' global event series "A New Climate." This marked the first instance the series was held in Asia. During the forum, reporters and dignitaries from around the world spoke on the consequences of climate change on human populations and the role technology has in addressing these issues. Emphasis was placed on how social and technological innovation could transform oceans, cities and energy systems to benefit people, the economy and the planet.
Idol group OH MY GIRL takes the stage during the Dream Concert.
The three-day expo concluded with the 29th Dream Concert at Busan Asiad Main Stadium. The annual concert, held outside of Seoul for the first time in its history, is one of K-pop's largest events.
Hosting the WCE and the Dream Concert represents a significant milestone for Busan as the city endeavors to increase its global profile and win the right to host the 2030 World Expo.