121 countries have agreed to push towards becoming carbon neutral, and a big part of that is reducing the carbon footprint of urban areas.
A UN report says 70 percent of carbon emissions come from cities.
At the P4G Thematic Session on 'Partnership for Smart and Resilient Green Cities, South Korea's transport minister said, we have to start building a sustainable environment for future generations.
"To transform cities, we need to rethink how cities function and reengineer urban transportation and infrastructure. In other words, we need a new platform to control and minimize carbon emissions in cities. And smart cities present the new platform."
Smart cities will reduce time wasted on the road, when going to work or travel.
Their compact urban design will shorten distances between each part of the city, and more of those journeys will be powered by renewable energy.
Infrastructure will be interconnected to make sure that resources are not wasted.
The keynote speaker emphasized the importance of smart cities.
"The pandemic has made us all aware of the importance of resilient cities. Cities that are water resilient, cities that improve across to clean water and hygiene for their citizens, while at the same time protecting them from flooding and diseases."
South Korea's environment minister at the P4G summit also discussed the transition towards a circular economy.
"The circular economy makes the world sustainable for the next generation. We need to build a sustainable economic model that minimizes the waste of resources at every stage, and puts them back into production."
The minister said 2021 will be the year South Korea embarks on the journey towards a circular economy.
It will work with the international community and build a model where people can use fewer disposable products.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News.