Oh Se-hoon, Mayor of Seoul, Republic of Korea, has been elected as Vice Chair of the C40 Steering Committee, the governing body providing strategic direction for the global network of nearly 100 cities committed to addressing the global climate crisis.

Oh, who began an unprecedented fourth term as mayor of Seoul in July 2022, is well-known for his environmental leadership. He co-founded the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements and, as a lawyer, helped to establish the right to sunlight for the first time in South Korea’s history.

As mayor, Oh has prioritised inclusive climate action to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, protect the safety of residents from the effects of climate change and improve equity. Among other measures, Oh has championed the Seoul Energy Welfare Civic Fund, which supports energy efficiency improvements among low-income households and other vulnerable populations, and connected young people hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic to new climate and environmental jobs.

Mayor Oh is committed to tackling air pollution, a major public health threat. In 2007, he developed the Clean Seoul 2010 initiative and in 2022, updated it as part of the Cleaner Seoul 2030, which includes various policy actions to cut air pollution emissions 50% by 2030. Also high on Oh’s agenda is addressing emissions from waste. Under his leadership, Seoul is working towards a Zero Waste Seoul and striving to increase plastic recycling rate to 80% by 2026. These efforts led to Seoul’s recycling earning the highest scores on the Global Power City Index ranked by the Mori Memorial Foundation in 2022.

In his new role on the C40 Steering Committee, Mayor Oh will be a leading voice in promoting bold and innovative climate action in cities around the world and inspiring change for a better future for all people. As Vice Chair, Mayor Oh will support the mayors of C40 cities as they advance inclusive climate actions to build climate-safe and globally competitive cities. Mayor Oh was elected to represent C40 cities in East and Southeast Asia and Oceania.

C40’s member cities represent 700 million residents and one quarter of the world’s economy. Through collaboration and innovation, the mayors of C40 Cities are determined to deliver on the Paris Agreement’s highest ambition and keep global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees, and to do so in an equitable way. 

Mayor Oh said: “I am thrilled to join mayors on the Steering Committee as a representative of C40 cities in East and Southeast Asia and Oceania. I am humbled and grateful for the vote of confidence and support by mayors in our region. I am committed to working closely alongside C40 mayors who are striving for the future we want for all and to protect the safety and health of our residents from the climate crisis.”

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