Climate summit highlights urgency of sustainable action
10th June 21 Vietam Investment Review source Vietnam has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing emissions and increasing support for green energy towards climate recovery and, to restoring its economy in a resilient and sustainable manner.
At the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 summit (P4G) in Seoul last week, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said, "Vietnam is determined to pursue its goals despite numerous challenges. This means curbing the pandemic effectively while fostering fast and sustainable socioeconomic recovery and development. Our country is striving to ensure harmonious, rational, and effective development, as well as balanced economic growth with cultural and social factors, environmental protection, and climate adaptation."
These objectives will be accomplished while including the growth model transformation, economic restructuring, green growth, market demand, newly-emerging industries, and the enhancement of productivity as directions for development. The PM emphasised that the people are placed at the centre and considered the greatest resource, the most important driver, and the highest goal of further development.
"Vietnam resolutely rejects the model of 'growth first, clean-up later' and does not condone growth at all costs without sustainability. We will certainly not pursue pure economic growth at the expense of social progress and equality," the prime minister added.
As one of the seven founding members and official partners of P4G, he proposed several recommendations. The two-day summit was the second following the inaugural meeting held in Copenhagen in 2018 and is focused on public-private partnerships (PPPs), especially in developing countries. The P4G is considered a stepping stone for the UN's COP26 climate summit, to take place in Scotland in November.
Vietnam is committed to continuing reducing electricity usage and increasing use of sustainable energy sources, targeting a coverage with these sources of 30 per cent of the nation's total primary energy sources by 2045, while internalising international treaties on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The country is also deploying a programme to plant a billion trees nationwide by 2025.
Last week, COP26 president-designate Alok Sharma said, "Vietnam is one of the countries with the fastest economic growth in the world, and we know that as a country it is becoming a big industrial hub in the world. But at the same time, Vietnam is also vulnerable to climate change. If we reach 2°C of global warming, it means that 40 per cent of the Mekong Delta will be flooded, affecting 17 million lives."
Sharma added that it is vital for the world to act to limit average temperature rises to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century, to avoid the worst effects of climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement.
"That's why it is so important for all countries to transition to clean energy. We know that 70 per cent of Vietnam's emissions come from energy and that's why transitioning away from coal to wind and solar energy is so vitally important," he emphasised.
Vietnam wants to transition from a brown economy to one based on green and renewable energy with low carbon emissions, with a roadmap suitable to the country's development needs and capacity. The roadmap is accompanied by adequate technological and financial support from developed countries.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at the P4G summit, "Big or small, developing or developed, we all have to invest in a green transition and adapt to the coming changes in our climate. It is a matter of self-interest, of mutual interest, and collective interest."
She added that this includes plans for an ambitious nationally-determined contribution update ahead of COP26, in line with net-zero targets, and announcements of an end to overseas coal financing.
P4G invests in over 50 PPPs with projects in developing countries. It is a collaborative partnership among 12 partner countries including Chile, Denmark, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Korea, South Africa, and Vietnam, and is funded by the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands and hosted at the World Resources Institute.
Other partner organisations include C40 Cities, the Global Green Growth Institute, the International Finance Corporation, United Nations Global Compact, and the World Economic Forum. By Nguyen Phuong