|(Photo: Stephanie Jenzer/CBC)
Climate change response, carbon dioxide emissions cuts, and sustainable development are irreversible trends. They are global issues that affect everyone. The Vietnamese government makes people the target, the motivation, the center, and the master of all activities.
After COP26, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh set up a National Steering Committee to realize Vietnam’s commitments. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment establish a Working Group to help the Steering Committee.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at COP26 (Photo: VNA)
Addressing the first session of the Committee in January, Prime Minister Chinh said: "If we commit to doing something, we must do it effectively to benefit the people and the nation. We should implement the programs from the grassroots level, effectively coordinate green transformation and digital transformation, mobilize the combined strength of the political system and resources inside and outside the country, including resources of the State and the private sector."
The Vietnamese government has revised strategies and plans to make them responsive to the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It has worked with international organizations and development partners to increase cooperation in finance, technology, and capacity building to realize the Paris Agreement and the COP26 commitments.
Vietnam has worked out a plan to transform from coal power to green energy, mobilized investment in infrastructure, implemented the National Strategy on Green Growth, and created favorable conditions for investors engaged in climate change response and renewable energy development.
In January, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment released the first National Climate Assessment Report – a document that enables Ministries, sectors, localities, managers, and the public to understand the characteristics, status, and changes of climate nationwide. The report assesses Vietnam’s efforts, achievements, and shortcomings in climate change response, as well as its development strategies.
Vietnam is accelerating the creation of a national strategy on climate change until 2050. Rather than focusing solely on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the new strategy will determine mitigation measures taking into consideration national socio-economic development trend, sectors with potential for mitigation, risks, challenges, and the utilization of available technology.
Joining with the international community
Since the beginning of this year, Vietnam has worked with a number of foreign officials, including Alok Kumar Sharma, British Cabinet Minister and COP26 President; Frans Timmermans, EC Executive Vice President; and John Kerry, the US President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change. Their visits have demonstrated the international community’s attention to Vietnam’s COP26 commitment.
Mr. Sharma said Vietnam has great opportunities because it has one of the world’s fastest growth rates, but is also one of the countries hardest hit by climate change. He praised the Vietnamese government’s swift and comprehensive actions, saying they enhance foreign investors’ confidence in Vietnam.
“We all know that climate change doesn’t recognize borders and experts tell us that if we get to 2 degrees of global warming, we’re going to a position where 40% of the Mekong Delta is flooded and the impact would be on 17 million lives and livelihoods here in Vietnam and of course the big economic cost as well. So I think the cost of inaction is far grated than the cost of action. Congratulate you on your plan for increasing renewable energy and getting to a point where renewable energy becomes the main source of energy in Vietnam,’ said Mr. Sharma.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry lauded Vietnam’s commitments and its government’s efforts to implement them. He said the US wants to cooperate with Vietnam and help Vietnam fulfill its commitments.