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(LEAD) First regional office of S. Korean-led 'green growth' think tank opens in Denmark
By Chang Jae-soon
COPENHAGEN, May 11 (Yonhap) -- The first regional office of a South Korean-led international think tank on "green growth" opened in Copenhagen on Wednesday as tangible fruit of President Lee Myung-bak's drive for the environmentally friendly cause.

   Lee attended the opening ceremony for the Copenhagen office of the Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) at the Technical University of Denmark, stressing the importance of "green growth" that seeks economic development without harming the environment.

   "As this is a path that we have to take for mankind, I believe all countries in the world will join together," Lee said during a speech at the ceremony. "Forward-moving countries like us should provide help for following nations. In this sense, I think the GGGI is doing a very meaningful job."

  
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (C) looks around a home at the "8-Tallet" apartment complex in Copenhagen on May 11, which was built with environmentally friendly, energy efficient designs. (Yonhap)


Under Lee's "low-carbon, green growth" policy, South Korea established the institute last year to study green growth strategies and policies and provide know-how to developing nations. Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Australia have since pledged financial contributions to the institute.

   Officials said many other nations have expressed interest in jointing the institute.

   On the sidelines of the opening of the Copenhagen office, the GGGI and the Danish government signed a memorandum of understanding that centers on assistance to developing nations in the green growth sector. The institute also struck an MOU with Danfoss, a leading environment-friendly refrigeration and air conditioning firm.

   Green growth has been one of Lee's trademark policies. It calls for lessening South Korea's dependence on fossil fuels and promoting the development of alternate energy sources, such as solar and wind power, and other technologies enhancing energy efficiency.

   Lee believes the strategy will provide South Korea with fresh growth engines for its economy and help the country reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases amid growing calls to curb global warming. South Korea is one of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters.

   A global leader in the green growth arena, Denmark has aggressively pushed for environment-friendly technologies, with an ambitious vision to end reliance on fossil fuels by 2050.

   Earlier in the day, Lee and Danish Crown Prince Frederik toured an apartment complex built with environmentally friendly, energy efficient designs. The "8-Tallet" complex in Copenhagen is considered a symbol of Denmark's push for green policies, officials said.

   Lee also held a meeting with Danish business leaders, calling for greater business cooperation between the two countries in the "green growth" sector. Lee also said that the Korea-European Union free trade agreement, set to take effect in July, will expand trade and investment between the two countries.

  


On Thursday, South Korea and Denmark will launch a "green growth alliance," which calls for cooperation in jointly developing new markets for green products and industries. Lee and Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen are also scheduled to adopt a joint declaration on green growth at their summit set for Thursday.

   Officials said the alliance will be a win-win situation and a mutually beneficial partnership that combines Denmark's leading green growth technologies with South Korea's powerful high-tech manufacturing.

   It will be the first time for South Korea to forge an alliance on a non-security area. It will also be Denmark's first alliance with a foreign country, officials said.

   Denmark is part of Lee's three-nation European trip that already took him to Berlin and Frankfurt in Germany. Lee will head to France on Thursday for the last leg of the trip.

   jschang@yna.co.kr
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