COP28 Side Event: Accelerating Vietnam’s Electric Vehicle Transition

Written by Phan Huong Giang, UNDP Viet Nam

December 5, 2023

Dubai, 5 December 2023 – Viet Nam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hosted a significant side event at COP28 titled "Green Transition in Road Transport." This gathering showcased Viet Nam's ongoing efforts and forward-looking strategies in the electric vehicle (EV) sector, marking a significant leap towards reducing emissions in transportation and enabling electric mobility.

Mr. Tran Anh Duong, Deputy Director of the Department of Science, Technology, and Environment at MOT eloquently outlined the transformation of Viet Nam's public transport services towards greener alternatives. Emphasizing the pivotal role of the private sector in the ongoing net-zero transition, he highlighted contributions to the production of EVs, development of charging infrastructure, and the creation of a robust ecosystem to foster this transformational shift. Mr. Duong underscored a pivotal governmental decision, No. 876/QĐ-TTg, issued on July 22, 2022, approving the Action Program for Transition to Green Energy and Mitigation of Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions from Transportation. which is catalyzing the green energy transition within the transport sector through its objective to substantially reduce carbon and methane emissions. Since the implementation of this decision, Viet Nam has experienced a noteworthy surge in EV adoption – from a modest 138 in 2019 to over 28,000 battery electric and 3,557 hybrid cars as of September 2023, alongside more than two million electric two-wheelers.
After more than a year of implementation, the Decision o. 876/QĐ-TTg has since proven itself as a linchpin for the development of a green transportation system, driving proactive participation of businesses and international support in enabling the electrification of various road transport vehicles within Viet Nam.

Industry leaders such as VinFast have been instrumental in this transformation, driving domestic manufacturing of EVs, spearheading the development of nationwide charging infrastructure, and setting new benchmarks in ESG practices. A multitude of other domestic and international manufacturers have also actively participated in Viet Nam's green transport transition, contributing to its burgeoning success.

Mr. Dao Xuan Lai, UNDP Head of Climate Change, Environment, and Energy Unit in Viet Nam highlighted the organization's comprehensive approach in supporting this transformative shift. Partnering with the Government of Japan, UNDP has been instrumental in supporting policy formulation, initiating pilot projects in urban areas, and running awareness campaigns, all aligned with Viet Nam's updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

"Within Viet Nam's updated NDC, the country committed to reducing total GHG emissions by 15.8% unconditionally compared to business-as-usual (BAU) and by up to 43.5% conditionally with international support by 2030. It is vital to transform the transport sector to contribute meaningfully to Viet Nam's pledged mitigation targets. To meet these GHG emissions reduction targets, the transport sector must reduce emissions by 12% and 22% from BAU for unconditional and conditional contributions, respectively by 2030. The Action Program for green energy transition is key to realizing mitigation goals and achieving net zero emissions of Viet Nam’s transport sector by 2050," emphasized by Mr. Dao.

UNDP will continue to play a critical role in fostering sustainable transportation and widespread EV adoption in Viet Nam. Including collaboration with the Government of Japan, these efforts involve supporting the development of national technical standards for charging infrastructure, solutions for EV battery recycling, and a green job assessment. At the city level, UNDP's initiatives, such as providing concessional loans for EV uptake and introducing electric refuse trucks for waste collection are demonstrative of UNDP’s support to accelerate the EV transition. 

The COP28 side event brought together representatives from various countries, such as Japan, International Financing Institutions (Asian Development Bank), national authorities (Hue PPC), CSO/NGO (Green ID), private sectors (Nippon Koie), National Institute (TDSI), experts, attended the event.