P4G Summit to Chart Path to Green Recovery, Carbon Neutrality by 2050

In the run-up to the 2021 Seoul Summit, convened by Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), the SDG Knowledge Hub is previewing how, through dedicated sessions, the Summit can serve as a global acceleration moment for action and impact for inclusive and sustainable green growth. The event seeks to position P4G as a delivery mechanism to build back better and greener in the coming decade.


  • The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit will focus on the theme, ‘Inclusive Green Recovery Towards Carbon Neutrality’.
  • The event includes a series of leaders’ sessions, breakout sessions, and thematic sessions targeting the water, energy, food and agriculture, cities, and circular economy sectors.
  • Convening prior to the Summit, the Green Future Week will feature Green Future Sessions focusing on ten different components of a green future: carbon neutrality, the Green New Deal, civil society, oceans, biodiversity, a business forum, green technology, forests, green finance, and the future generation.

The second P4G summit, originally planned for 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19, is scheduled to convene from 30-31 May 2021, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit will focus on the theme, ‘Inclusive Green Recovery Towards Carbon Neutrality.’ It will be the Republic of Korea’s first multilateral summit on the environment. In the spirit of inclusiveness, innovation, and sustainability, it will bring together representatives of governments and international organizations, businesses, and civil society to explore how “scalable and replicable market-based solutions can inspire an increased ambition loop of climate action and sustainable development.”

The Summit is expected to culminate in the adoption of the Seoul Declaration, and will serve as a stepping stone towards the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP 26), help raise the ambition of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by putting an emphasis on action, and set milestones for the Decade of Action. The event includes a series of leaders’ sessions, breakout sessions, and thematic sessions targeting the water, energy, food and agriculture, cities, and circular economy sectors.


The thematic session on ‘Carbon-neutral Smart Water Management for Climate Resilience,’ organized by the Ministry of Environment, will share the latest solutions for carbon-neutral, smart water management that promotes climate resilience and contributes to sustainable development. Discussions will focus on the status of and trends in smart water management for better solutions at national and regional levels, with a special focus on innovative technologies to reduce carbon emissions. Good governance, finance, and insurance are among other topics to be addressed in this session.


‘A Greener Planet with Innovative Energy Solutions’ is the subject of the thematic session on energy, organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. This session will discuss low-carbon and carbon-neutral energy solutions for a greener earth for future generations. Participants will explore the role of cooperation through multilateral platforms such as P4G to accelerate transition to carbon neutrality. A keynote speech will address the role of energy in achieving carbon neutrality, the future of the energy industry, and the relationship between carbon-neutral energy and inclusive growth. A panel discussion will focus on the energy system transformation strategy through policymaking and international cooperation.

Food and Agriculture

Convened by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, this session will address the theme, ‘Resilient and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.’ Participants will seek to leverage the potential of partnerships and cooperation between governments, the private sector, farmers, and relevant organizations to ensure long-term food security and improve nutrition by producing and supplying quality food for everyone, while enhancing famers’ productivity and profitability and promoting environmentally-friendly production, supply, and consumption systems. Discussions will address: ‘Establishing Sustainable Food Systems Responding to Climate Change’; and ‘Public-Private Cooperation Utilizing Innovative Technology to Go Net-Zero in Food and Agriculture.’


The theme of this session, organized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, is ‘Partnerships for Smart and Resilient Green Cities.’ It will focus on the role of smart cities in green recovery, carbon-neutral society, and climate crisis responses, and seek to establish global public-private partnerships (PPPs). The session will feature keynote speeches on PPPs for carbon emissions reduction and sustainable growth through innovative urban development. These interventions will highlight the importance of global partnerships and the role of information and communication technology (ICT) for sustainable development in the era of smart cities. To accelerate the discovery and replication of new partnerships across regions, the forum will showcase best practice partnerships in key sectors such as zero-emission transportation, including micro-mobility, e-buses, and freight transition, and energy-efficient buildings, including net-zero residences.

Circular Economy

The Ministry of Environment will organize a session on the theme, ‘Circular Economy Measures towards a Zero Waste Society,’ which will share the latest efforts, actions, and innovations in circular economy taking place in different countries and sectors, with a special focus on zero waste. It will present innovative models, such as sustainable industrial clusters, that play a critical role in achieving circularity, and endeavor to develop strategies to reach a zero-waste future in the context of climate change and to go carbon neutral by 2050.

The five themes correspond to P4G’s five thematic tracks where the global platform works to accelerate innovative multistakeholder partnerships to deliver transformative change to reach SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).

Green Future Week

The week prior to the Summit – the Green Future Week – will feature sessions focusing on ten different components of a green future:

  • Carbon Neutrality: This session themed, ‘Action of Local Governments towards Carbon Neutrality,’ by the Ministry of Environment, will be held under the motto, ‘Local Action, Global Change.’ It will provide a forum for countries and representatives from local governments, industry, and civil society to exchange experiences of working towards carbon neutrality and pursue closer collaboration. The Carbon-neutral Cities Coalition (CNCC), launched by Korea’s local municipalities in July 2020, will lead discussions on how to encourage local engagement, raise local governments’ awareness, and mobilize local commitments to climate action.
  • Green New Deal: This session, convened by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), on the theme, ‘Green New Deal: Clean Transition to Green Economy,’ will provide a forum to highlight green recovery policies in GCF-supported countries and to discuss how PPPs can further accelerate global action on climate change and air pollution. The session will discuss the role of the financial system in accelerating the transition to a net-zero economy and ensuring a just transition.
  • Civil Society: Organized by the Ministry of Environment on the theme, ‘Just and Green Recovery from Grassroots’ Engagement,’ this session aims to raise awareness of PPPs for a “green transformation” through the Partners’ Dialogue. The session will stress the importance of civil society’s involvement in the P4G initiative to make partnerships inclusive, valuable, and sustainable. It will present five grassroots partnership cases as examples of P4G initiatives seeking to transform our world. Civil society organizations (CSOs) from P4G’s 12 member countries will also deliver a joint statement.
  • Ocean: This session by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries tentatively themed, ‘Building Back Bluer through Oceans,’ will build on the Getting to Zero Coalition It will engage stakeholders and companies from P4G partner countries and beyond to leverage the P4G platform to achieve zero-emission vessels and fuels. Participants will explore potential business and collaboration opportunities to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth of the shipping industry.
  • Biodiversity: The topic of this session, convened by the Ministry of Environment, is ‘Hope for the Future, Biodiversity Recovery.’ The session aims to strengthen communication and cooperation among global experts and citizens for climate change response and biodiversity conservation. Against the backdrop of post-COVID-19 recovery, two sub-sessions will meet on the themes, ‘Everybody’s Participation for Biodiversity Restoration,’ and ‘Biodiversity Recovery as Seen by Natural Scientists.’
  • Business Forum: The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold a business forum themed, ‘Business Paradigm Shift in the Era of ESG & Green Tech.’ Two sub-sessions will explore the latest trends in green business and concrete measures to achieve Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) goals by focusing on: ‘ESG Business Paradigm and the Way Forward’; and ‘Green Technology and Sustainable Growth.’
  • Green Technology: The Ministry of Science and ICT will convene a session on the theme, ‘Green Technology, Path Finder for Carbon-Neutral Society,’ which will highlight the importance of green technology as a key enabler for a carbon-neutral society and share current efforts on “creating opportunities while tackling the global climate crisis.” In a sub-session on ‘Future Technology for Carbon Neutrality by 2050,’ speakers from various sectors will talk about how green technology is being used to achieve carbon-neutral strategies, highlight current and future challenges to realizing technologies for carbon neutrality, and emphasize the role of international cooperation platforms like P4G in a carbon-neutral society enabled by technology.
  • Forests: Convened by the Korea Forest Service (KFS), this session with explore the theme, ‘Forests for Global Net-Zero and Peace.’ Participants will focus on the role of forests as a major carbon sink, review the current status of the world’s forestry sector, and discuss the KFS’s progress in achieving the goals of Korea’s NDC, including going net-zero by 2050. The session will also announce REDD+ goals to meet the targets of Korea’s 2050 Forestry Strategy.
  • Green Finance: This session, organized by the Financial Services Commission, will address the theme, ‘The Role of Finance: Fostering Green Recovery in the Post COVID-19 Era.’ The session aims to facilitate dialogue on the role of finance to ensure socioeconomic recovery in a timely and sustainable manner. Participants will structure their discussions around three topics: 1) ‘Climate Crisis, COVID-19, and Green Finance: Where Are We Now?’ 2) ‘Financing the Transition towards a Green Economy to Unlock Investments in the Post COVID-19 Era’; and 3) ‘The Path to a Genuine Paradigm Shifting Green Finance in the Post COVID-19 Era.’
  • Future Generation: This session themed, ‘Voice of the Earth, Voice for the Earth,’ convened by the National Council on Climate and Air Quality (NCCA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will serve as a platform to bring the voices of youth from around the world to the world leaders from P4G partner countries. A Town Hall Meeting will share projects and action plans put together by participants of the Global Youth Climate Challenges 2020 (GYCC 2020). The session will conclude by presenting the ‘Voice of Youth Action,’ to rally world leaders to take immediate climate action.

The 2021 P4G Seoul Summit aims to become “a catalytic moment for collective action” towards net zero. “Korea will prepare together with the people, so that the 2021 P4G Seoul Summit becomes the venue that unites the international community’s resolve to achieve carbon neutrality,” said South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in his New Year’s remarks on 11 January 2021.

The first P4G Summit took place from 19-20 October 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and focused on the  theme, ‘Accelerating Partnerships.’ 

The P4G global initiative was launched in 2017 to accelerate the response to climate change and implementation of the SDGs. P4G’s network includes 12 country partners (Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Viet Nam) and five organizational partners: WRI, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and C40 Cities. Knowledge and investment partners include the International Water Association (IWA), the NDC Partnership, the Food and Land Use Coalition, the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP), Blended Finance Taskforce, and the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE). [2021 P4G Seoul Summit] [P4G Website]


This article was originally shared by SDG Knowledge Hub.