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S. Korea's next leader unlikely to 'walk away' from green growth: U.S. expert
BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has been so deeply involved in international efforts toward green growth that it will be difficult for the country's next leader to "walk away" from the environment-friendly economic growth campaign, a U.S. expert said.

   Scott Snyder, a senior researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), made the prediction in an article posted on the CFR blog on Tuesday, referring to South Korea's hosting of the secretariat of the U.N. Green Climate Fund and the launch of the Global Green Growth Institute as an international organization.

   "It will be hard for a new South Korean president to walk away from green growth, even if it is still too early to know whether South Korean stewardship and contributions to this dimension of the international agenda will ultimately be successful," Snyder said.

   Green growth has been one of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's trademark policies. It calls for lessening South Korea's dependence on fossil fuels and promoting the development of alternative 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, one of the largest greenhouse gas producers, reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases amid growing calls to curb global warming.

   As green growth is "a signature initiative" of Lee's, "the sustainability of South Korea's commitment to green growth as a political priority is in question," Snyder said, adding that GGGI's re-launch as an international organization is an attempt to get the initiative going forward through administrations.

   South Korea established GGGI as a think tank devoted to coming up with strategies aimed mainly at helping developing countries embrace the new growth paradigm. It was upgraded as an official international organization last month with 18 nations as founding members.

   "The establishment of GGGI as an international organization is fraught with contradictions that make the organizational mission and its prospects for success both intriguing and daunting," Snyder said.

   "GGGI must still prove that its green growth model of development will successfully achieve 'green growth' and development while also attracting financial support and building its reputation as an effective international organization," he said.

   jschang@yna.co.kr
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