Meeting on the occasion of their Eighth Bilateral Summit, the heads of the Republic of Korea and the European Union stressed the need to tackle climate change and confirmed their resolve to play their part in concluding a successful universal climate agreement in Paris later this year.

The Presidents of the Republic of Korea and the European Union, Ms. Geun-hye Park and Mr. Donald Tusk, expressed their intention to cooperate bilaterally and with other countries towards an “ambitious” and “effective” agreement that must “address adaptation to climate change and climate finance, in particular through the Green Climate Fund.”

Mr. Tusk was accompanied by Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, who represented the President of the European Commission, the executive body of the 28 EU member states.

The three leaders affirmed their ambition to “make the Green Climate Fund fully operational and the main operating entity of the financial mechanism” under the UNFCCC for the Post-2020 climate regime.

The joint statement, made at a press conference in Seoul, comes ahead of this year’s 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris (COP 21) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We welcome this joint European-Korean announcement,” said Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund. “The statement serves as a rallying call to other governments in the lead-up to the Paris conference,” she said.

Both the Republic of Korea and European Union member states are significant contributors to the Fund, with the EU being the largest, representing close to half of all commitments made to GCF to date.

The Fund mobilizes resources on an ongoing basis and encourages all governments to make a pledge to GCF if they are in a position to contribute, in particular before COP 21.

The bilateral summit addressed a range of global issues, under the broader theme of global welfare and a safer future. The Presidents shared their plans to cooperate towards increased energy security and efficiency and encouraged countries to submit their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

The Green Climate Fund was established to channel new and predictable financial resources to developing countries to promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways and help limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius