Why does North Korea engage with the international climate change regime, centred on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)? This presentation advances four hypotheses to explain North Korea’s compliance with the UNFCCC…
- North Korea is committed to the UNFCCC as a means of addressing its high vulnerability to climate change impacts.
- North Korea is using UNFCCC capacity-building provisions to address its vulnerabilities in the agricultural sector.
- North Korea is using the UNFCCC as vehicle to upgrade its dilapidated energy sector.
- North Korea is using the Clean Development Mechanism to obtain foreign currency revenue.
This research raises some interesting potentialities vis-à-vis engagement with the DPRK. With denuclearisation diplomacy floundering, engagement based around international environmental treaties present some constructive possibilities. Unlike in denuclearisation negotiations based around the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, North Korea’s core state survival interests appear to lean toward cooperation with the international climate change regime. The key point here is the convergence between the objectives of the UNFCCC, and the leadership perpetuation and state survival interests of the North Korean government.
Thank you to Hyaeweol Choi, Emma Campbell and Daniel Chua from the Korea Institute for the invitation to present and for putting on a wonderful event.