Vietnam steps up climate change response efforts

VOV.VN - By giving its commitment to reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050 at the recent 26th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP26), Vietnam has both opportunities and challenges to achieve this target.

The commitment of Vietnam, a developing country with numerous difficulties, shows the country’s strong resolve to address global issues on climate and environment in the context that it is also one of the six countries that suffer from severe impacts of climate change.

Immediately after the COP26 summit, the Government established the National Steering Committee for implementing its commitment at the COP26 led by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. This decision has been applauded internationally as the right step, demonstrating the country’s determination in this roadmap.

Although it has only been in operation for a few months, the Steering Committee has carried out a number of effective activities. It is currently focusing on eight main areas, with priority to be given to energy conversion and greenhouse gas emission reduction.

To meet its commitment, Vietnam is required to carefully calculate the amount of CO2 to be absorbed equivalent to that CO2 emitted. It has put forward solutions toward reducing gas emissions, mostly through energy transition, as the energy industry accounts for up to 70% of emissions.

According to the Power Development Plan VIII submitted to the Government in early April, Vietnam will gradually reduce coal power generation and increase renewable energy sources in the coming decades. It plans to cross out 27 coal-fired power projects and instead to develop solar and wind power sources. By 2045 coal power is expected to account for just 9.6% of the whole system, while the supply of renewable energy and clean energy is set to reach 80%.

The roadmap for converting coal-fired power plants will be considered carefully. Many mechanisms and policies will also be introduced to develop clean and renewable energy sources. As for other manufacturing industries, Vietnam aims to reduce emissions in the direction of a green economy and a circular economy.

Green production will be considered a highly competitive advantage for businesses when attracting investment capital at the moment. A recent survey by the European Consumer Centre reveals that one in four consumers decides to buy products based on environmental factors.

For forest resources, Vietnam will also have plenty of opportunities. With a national coverage rate of over 42% and an ongoing programme to plant 1 billion trees by 2025, the country has the potential for absorbing carbon, and it will even sell carbon credits by 2025 to deliver economic, environmental and climate benefits.

Apparently, the commitment at the COP 26 summit will be a turning point for accelerating economic restructuring towards a low carbon and green economy. This process will also present numerous challenges, especially in terms of technology and finance. In the energy industry alone, the total investment in electricity and energy development from now till 2045 is estimated at about US$380 billion.

Green development is inevitable, and many countries are willing to see this trend as an opportunity to build their green brand. Vietnam is at the beginning stage, which has been appreciated internationally for its commitments to carbon neutrality towards green development. However, whether or not such a goal is achieved much depends on the determination and cooperation of everyone.

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