Vietnam’s commitment at COP26 marks a turning point in climate change policy: expert

Vietnam's commitment at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK, is a historical turning point in its climate change policy, an expert has said.

Dr. Do Nam Thang, an expert in environment and climate change at the Australian National University, told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s correspondent in Sydney that through the commitment made by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the conference, Vietnam has joined hands with about 140 other countries worldwide to achieve the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Despite a range of challenges, Vietnam has opportunities to realise the commitment, he said, suggesting the country devise a specific, feasible plan to reach the target.

Thang cited a recent study by the Australian National University as showing that Vietnam has potential to produce 90% of its electricity from wind and solar power.

The country’s initial successes in solar and wind power development, especially offshore wind energy, should be further promoted.

According to the World Bank, Vietnam's offshore wind power potential is estimated at about 475 GW in its territorial waters 200 km from the coastline, about eight times higher than the country’s capacity in 2020.

By gradually replacing coal-fired electricity, this could help reduce over 200 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions and add at least US$50 billion to Vietnam’s economy from a strong local supply chain, more jobs, and exports.

Therefore, Vietnam’s Power Development Plan for the 2021 - 2030 period (PDP VIII) should increase the ratio of wind and solar power, the expert suggested.

Thang also highlighted the significance of international cooperation, which, he said, would help Vietnam utilise renewable energy development opportunities and shift towards the green economy.