The Korean government’s recognition of climate as a growing risk to the national financial architecture and for climate finance to be urgently included as a credible solution was discussed at a joint seminar in Seoul, organised by the Korean National Assembly Budget Office (NABO) and UNEP FI, together with the National Assembly SRI Policy Research Forum and National Assembly CSR Policy Research Forum.

NABO Chief Jun Ki Kim opened the event with three assemblymen from ruling and opposition parties. The Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance, Mr. Sang Mok Choi stressed the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues and climate change for government, as well as financial institutions. NABO is planning to integrate ESG considerations into its evaluation system for 64 public funds including the National Pension Service. Additionally, the current stewardship code being discussed in Congress is expected to support the overall adoption of ESG in the country. There is still a gap in the government’s understanding of ESG and how it can be integrated into private sector work, especially for the finance sector. Past proposals to incorporate ESG into laws have led to opposition among legislators. With the plan to integrate ESG factors into the National Finance Act, which covers the National Pension Service, assemblymen identified monitoring systems and information dissemination as crucial to ensuring ESG concerns will be implemented and not used merely for brand advertising.