Tuesday, 23/1/2018
COP 21: Viet Nam joins hands with the international community to respond to climate change
26/2/2016 15:19' Send Print
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said at the plenary session of COP 21. Photo: VNA

Affirming the strong commitment

COP 21 took place at a time when countries were bracing up to respond to non-traditional security challenges, including climate change. This was one of the largest global conference in 2015 receiving much interest from the international community after the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the International Conference on Financing for Development and Sustainable Development Summit for the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. The main goal of COP 21 was to adopt some legal framework for a new global climate change for the period after 2020 (known as the 2015 Paris Agreement) according to which countries commit to limit global temperature rises to below 2 degrees Celsius by cutting emissions by the end of the 21st century compared to pre-industrial period of 1850-1990.

The participation of the Vietnamese delegation led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in COP 21 this time was to implement the policy of proactive and active international integration, asserting Viet Nam’s strong commitment to join efforts with the international community to cope with climate change, and to promote the cooperation opportunities between Viet Nam and other countries and international partners, especially in the field of climate change.

Aware of the serious impacts of climate change to sustainable development in Viet Nam and the world, the Government of Viet Nam has paid attention to and implemented programs and policies to respond to climate change. Viet Nam has participated in many important international treaties, and contributed to the process of international negotiations on climate development.

Recently, ministries, research institutions, non-governmental organizations of Viet Nam, international organizations and development partners have actively and closely collaborated to complete the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) of Viet Nam. INDC of Viet Nam submitted on 30 September 2015 consisting of: First, greenhouse gas emission reduction, including activities to be implemented by domestic resources (unconditional activities) and activities which may be implemented with support from the international community. Second, adaptation to climate change including activities being undertaken, institutional, gaps, policy, finance, human resources and technology, and adaptation measures for the period 2021-2030.

Joining hands with the international community to cope with climate change

At COP 21, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made an important statement reflecting the responsibility, commitment and efforts of Viet Nam to join hands with the international community to respond to the problem of global climate change.

As head of the Government of the country projected to be most vulnerable by climate change, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung emphasized the serious impacts of climate change to sustainable development in Viet Nam as well as in the world, confirming the strong political commitment of the Government of Viet Nam which has been actively and responsibly working with the international community to address climate change with concrete actions in both national and international scale.

Speaking to 150 heads of states, heads of governments in the world and leaders of international organizations, representing 196 member parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung expressed Viet Nam's position: “We are present at COP 21 to express commitment to support and promote the process of negotiations and adopt a global climate agreement after 2020. The agreement should ensure equitable equal contributions among countries and a balance in reduction, adaptation, finance, development and technology transfer…. Developed countries should take lead in honoring their commitments, while supporting and strengthening the capacity of developing countries to jointly implement successful the agreement."

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also affirmed Viet Nam’s commitment from now to 2020, despite difficulties in resources to continue strategies, programs, and plans to respond to climate change on different areas, strictly implement the obligations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Viet Nam will contribute US$ 1 million to the Green Climate Fund for the period 2016-2020.

For the period after 2020, the Prime Minister stated that as a developing country heavily affected by climate change and difficulties, Viet Nam has committed to reducing green house gas emissions by 8% in 2030 and possibly to 25% if it receives effective support from the international community. Viet Nam will review periodically, and adapt the commitment to their actual conditions.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stressed: “The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The successful implementation of Agenda 2030 requires us to have strong political will and close cooperation to strictly, fully and effectively implement the Global Climate Agreement after 2020. On behalf of the Government and people of Viet Nam, I would like to express our thank and wish to continue receiving the cooperation and valuable assistance of countries and international organizations for socio-economic development of Viet Nam in general and to cope with climate change in particular. We will implement our responsibility and honor our commitment.”

As one of his activities at COP 21, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and Vice President of the World Bank (WB) Laura senior Tusk co-hosted the high-level dialogue “Viet Nam join hands with international partners to respond to the challenges of climate change in the Mekong River Delta” with the participation of 30 senior officials from different countries.

In his speech at the dialogue session, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said that the international community ia facing negative impacts of climate change. These pose great challenges for socio-economic development of Viet Nam, one of the five countries in the world heavily affected by climate change. The Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam has a population of over 18 million people, covering a delta area of nearly 40,000 km2 which are subjected to “double” impacts of climate change and sea level rise and of the construction of dams, and unsustainable exploitation and use of water in the upstream of the Mekong River. Many parts of the region have been hit by storms, heavy flooding, causing severe damage to human life and economy. Drought leads to increasing salinization, affecting nearly 700,000 hectares of arable land, accounting for about 40% of the 1.7 million hectares of agricultural land of the whole region. Without appropriate response measures, it is forecast that to the end of this century, sea level rise by one meter will cause flooding to 40% of the area and affect the livelihood of nearly 55% of the population in the Mekong River Delta of Viet Nam. Moreover, in 2014, it exported about one fifth of the total international trade of rice, providing rice to millions of people in many countries in the region and the world. Recognizing these challenges, despite many difficulties and limited resources, the Government of Viet Nam has drastically directing and integrating activities to respond to climate change in planning, and in the annual and 5-year socio-economic development plans of the region. Prime Minister expressed his elation that Viet Nam’s efforts have been recognized and supported by the international community.

Through the dialogue, Viet Nam received recommendations on solutions and methods of cooperation to help Viet Nam improve the efficiency of responding to climate change for sustainable development of the Mekong River Delta.

Synthesized by Thu Phuong