Climate Change

and Energy Policy

November 5, 2021

By Ana Clariza P. Briones, 2021 GMPA Student(Public Management and Public Sector Reforms)

Reflection on Prof. Hwan-Eik Cho's Presentation

on Climate Change and Energy Policy

The first 2021 GMPA Meeting with Leaders of Korean Public Organizations series commenced with Prof. Hwan-Eik Cho’s timely presentation on Climate Change and Energy Policy. In recent years, the world has been experiencing the devastating effects of climate change, with infernal wildfires, severe floods, and fatal droughts becoming more frequent and extreme, leading to millions of climate change-related deaths. As such, climate change has become the most urgent agenda among global issues that must be addressed by the global community. As the former President and CEO of the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Prof. Cho is in the best position to discuss the most appropriate energy policy in view of this crisis. In addition to his presentation, Prof. Cho provided valuable insights to the GMPA students on his experience as a Korean public official.

The energy sector has a profound effect on global warming and as such, an appropriate energy policy is needed to minimize its impact on climate change. As Prof. Cho presented, energy is a double-edged sword that contributes to industrialization and progress of humanity but at the same time, causes environmental issues and political conflicts. Presently, majority of the world’s energy is generated from oil, coal, and gas, which produce large amounts of carbon emission. The key to a better future is for these sources to be reduced and more sustainable sources of energy, such as nuclear and renewable energy, be used instead. This vision can be further accelerated by establishing comprehensive smart cities that make use of energy efficient devices powered by clean energy. As a government official from one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change that also experiences high electricity rates, I find the presentation enlightening and inspiring. I hope that the Philippines will be able to achieve Prof. Cho’s vision of the future by investing in clean energy.

In addition, Prof. Cho shared with us his experience as a Korean public official. Prof. Cho worked for the Korean government for over 30 years in various capacities. He was gracious enough to answer the students’ questions thoroughly. To become a successful leader, he advised the following: (1) to have pride and confidence as a public official; (2) to always have an attitude to learn; and (3) to take lead and embrace difficult tasks. In addition, he emphasized that one must learn global standards and global competitiveness in order to compete in a global society. One must also give his/her fullest with confidence in order to advance in his/her respective country.

I am very grateful to Prof. Cho for his time and for sharing his knowledge and experience with us. I gained a lot of insight not just on climate change and energy policy, but also on what it takes to become a successful leader. I also wish to express my gratitude to GSPA for organizing this event. I am looking forward to learning more from the other leaders of Korean public organizations!