Alternate member of the Party Central Committee Vice Minister of Natural resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha. Image: tnmttuyenquang.gov.vn
In face of increasingly complicated and unprecedented developments of climate change which have seriously caused impacts on people’s life and property as well as sustainable development of all countries, “Viet Nam is committed to join hands to respond to climate change, and contribute to protect the earth.”
This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh at the high-level meeting of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change organized in New York, the United States on 23 September 2014.
Over the past years, Viet Nam has actively taken part in the international negotiations on climate change. Every year, the Vietnamese negotiation team including representatives of concerned ministries and branches attended Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change/Conference of the Parties serving as meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/CMP) as well as other negotiation sessions.
On 12 January 2012, the Vietnamese Prime Minister issued Decision 80/Q Đ-TTg establishing the Working Group of Viet Nam to negotiate on climate change with the participation of representatives of ministries and branches of Viet Nam. This marked a new development in Viet Nam’s international negotiation activities. Accordingly, the Ministry of Natural resources and Environment acting as the focal point of the Working Group together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom co-organized a workshop to enhance climate change negotiation capacity of Vietnamese and Southeast Asian climate change negotiators. Through the training, the negotiators improved their negotiation capacity, exchanged information, enhanced coordination and mutual understanding, reached common viewpoints in ASEAN on climate change negotiations.
In different international forums and conferences, Viet Nam has actively participated as a responsible nation, joining force with the international community in responding to climate change, thus gradually enhancing its status in international negotiations.
At the United National Summit on Climate Change initiated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 23 September 2014, Viet Nam once again affirmed that Viet Nam is a developing country, not belonging to the parties in Annex 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is not a country having high greenhouse gas emissions, but is one of few countries most severely affected by climate change, especially sea level rise. Viet Nam will join hands with countries and development partners in negotiations on international agreement in 2015. Viet Nam is drafting the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), one of the important contents in the process of developing the agreement in 2015. In its report on INDC, Viet Nam will determine its contributions to greenhouse gas emission reduction, adaptation to climate change, financial requirements, technical transfer, capacity building to together with the international community achieve the goal of limiting the global surface temperature increase of 2°C by the end of the century.
At the United Nations Summit on Climate Change organized on 23 September 2014, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh pointed out that as one of the countries most adversely affected by climate change and sea level rise, Viet Nam has given priority to actions in response to and adaptation to climate change and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
To proactively respond to climate change, Viet Nam has embarked on several voluntary and selected activities to reduce gas emissions with internal resources or with international financial, technical and capacity building assistance. Strategies, projects, and programs have all included targets to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Targets for greenhouse gas reduction are mentioned in important documents of the Party and Government. Concretely:
Resolution 24/NQ-TW dated 3 June 2013 of the Party Central Committee stipulated that by 2020, gas emission reduction per GDP would be 8%-10% lower than that of 2010.
In the Green Growth Strategy approved by the Prime Minister in Decision 1393/QĐ-TTg dated 25 September 2012 mentioned that in the period of 2011-2020, gas emission reduction per GDP would be 8%-10% lower than that of 2010, energy reduction per GDP would be approximately 1%-5% annually; gas emission reduction from energy-related activities from 10% to 20% as compared with normal plan. Of them 10% is the intended level and the remaining 10% is the level achieved with international assistance. It is intended that by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by at least 1.5%-2% annually, gas emissions relating to energy production will be cut down from 20% to 30% as compared with normal plan. Of which 20% is the intended level and the remaining 10% is achieved with international assistance. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 1.5%-2% annually.
In Decision 1775/QĐ-TTg dated 21 November 2012, the Prime Minister approved the Scheme on management of emission of greenhouse gases, management of activities of business of carbon credits on international markets, targets of greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2020 compared to 2005 are 8% in the area of energy and transportation, 20% in the area of agriculture, 20% in the areas of land use, change of land use and forestry (LULUCF) and 5% in waste treatment.
Viet Nam completed the 2nd National Communications and was one of the first developing countries to prepare the 1st Biennial Update Report (BUR). Beside giving priority to adaptation activities, Viet Nam has expedited greenhouse gas emission activities in line with national circumstances (NAMA), effectively used and saved energy, developed renewable energy, and sustainably grown, protected and expanded forest. Viet Nam boasts 253 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects which is in equivalent to a reduction of 140 million tons of CO2.
These are important premise for Viet Nam to identify its emission reduction potential and national contributions as responsibility of a party to the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, while harmonizing socio-economic development targets towards low carbon emission and green growth, contributing to enhance competitiveness of businesses and economy and promote sustainable development.
At the United Nations Summit on Climate Change organized on 23 September 2014, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh made known that Viet Nam is studying the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), identifying its concrete contributions on greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to climate change and commitments to closely cooperate with the international community and partners to speed up negotiations for the global agreement on climate change at the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change to be organized in Paris in 2015.
Climate change is a global issue, and a serious challenge to humankind in the 21st century. Response to climate change should be placed in global relations, not only as a challenge but an enabling factor to transform growth model in line with sustainable development.
To honor its international commitments on climate change to protect the Earth, Viet Nam strives to proactively adapt to climate change, prevent natural disasters, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make drastic changes in exploitation and use of natural resources in a relevant, effective and sustainable manner, control environment pollution and biodiversity loss to ensure the quality of living environment, maintain ecological balance for a green and environment-friendly economy.