|Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the seminar. (Photo: VNA)
At the seminar, titled, “Proactive response to climate change and energy security strengthening for sustainable development,” held by the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, Kerry said climate change was a major problem for the whole world, not just Vietnam. Climate change is in close association with the energy sector.
According to Kerry, many countries worldwide have transitioned to generating and using renewable energy. This is an indispensable trend to ensure the sustainable development of the energy sector and to cushion the negative impact of climate change.
He proposed that Vietnam should follow this trend and reduce its dependence on coal-fired power. Also, the Government should help private enterprises improve their competitiveness and seek ways to attract more foreign direct investment.
The former secretary of State also voiced his concern over the serious pollution in major cities in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi, stating that it is even more polluted than China’s Beijing and India’s New Delhi. The pollution has resulted in respiratory diseases, which kill hundreds in Vietnam.
For his part, Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission, agreed that climate change is a major challenge to the sustainable development of all countries worldwide, including Vietnam. Without effective solutions, it will negatively affect the country’s socioeconomic development.
Vietnam is one of the five countries that suffer the most from climate change. In addition to its impact on the country’s environment, climate change threatens national food and energy security.
It is crucial to work out solutions to proactively respond to climate change and ensure an adequate energy supply, Binh added.
The seminar, held under the framework of the 2019 Vietnam Economic Forum, attracted nearly 250 attendees who are representatives of ministries, agencies, localities, enterprises, embassies and foreign business associations.