Consultation Workshop on Draft Viet Nam National Climate Change Strategy to 2050

Opening remarks by Caitlin Wiesen, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. / UNDP Resident Representative

April 26, 2022

Excellency Mr. Le Cong Thanh, Vice Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Excellency Mr. Shoda Yutaka, Vice Minister of Environment of the Government of Japan,

Mr. Weert Börner, Chargé d’Affaires, German Embassy Hanoi,

Distinguished Representatives from line ministries, Development Partners, UN organizations, media agencies, and colleagues who are joining with us in person and online,

Xin Chào and A Very Good Morning!

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome all of you to this important consultation workshop on the draft National Climate Change Strategy to 2050, with vision to 2100.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam for immediate actions taken since COP26, including the establishment of a new National Committee for the implementation of Viet Nam’s climate commitments.

The National Climate Change Strategy is one of the key policy instruments to deliver the net-zero emission target by 2050 and to build community resilience. I would like to commend the MONRE team for their tireless efforts to prepare this important Draft Strategy, which will set a strong foundation for other important climate and energy policies and plans, such as the upcoming Power Development Plan No. 8 (PDP8) and Master Plan for Energy development, the update of Nationally Determined Contributions - NDCs, National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and the Green Growth Strategy.

The Climate Change strategy, once endorsed, will help to provide a framework for mobilizing a whole of government system and the whole of society in taking responsible climate action for a fair, just transition and the sustainable development of Viet Nam.

UNDP is pleased to have partnered with GIZ for the last 2 years to provide technical assistance to the Vietnamese government for the development of the Draft Strategy. This is another example of our fruitful technical cooperation with MONRE since the development of the NDCs in 2015 and 2020.

In this draft version of the National Climate Change Strategy to 2050, I would like to highlight several new elements that Viet Nam is taking forward:

  • This draft is informed by international good practices in developing long term low carbon development strategies. It proposes a sensible and viable roadmap for Viet Nam to gain from multilateral cooperation on climate change, including key trends of cooperation for technology transfer and resource mobilisation towards net-zero targets.
  • It highlights that Viet Nam is ready for a stronger and more systematic shift towards transformational adaptation programming, gradually introduce a transparent system to monitor climate impact and adaptation progress.
  • The role of the business sector is enhanced with a clear plan for establishment of relevant market-based mechanisms, which will soon regulate business and market operation towards sustainable and low-carbon practices.
  • The roles of youth and women have been emphasized, while the role of local governments in adaptive and green transition is strengthened. I hope in the coming years, provinces will benefit from the effective decentralisation of climate finance and policy incentives where local communities can lead green and resilient innovations.
  • To further identify additional innovative solutions to help Viet Nam achieve its net-zero target by 2050, UNDP is working with MONRE to assess the potential of carbon capture, storage and use (CCUS) and green hydrogen. These technological developments will play a key role in the path towards net-zero emissions, especially from the late 2020s onwards.

Moving forward, as we are seeking further feedback and comments from all of you, we would like to share  the following recommendations.

1.     First, Viet Nam needs a solid climate legislation to guide and enforce domestic climate actions towards national net-zero targets. Critical policies, including PDP8, Energy Master Plan, Green Growth, NDC and NAP must be long-term, eliminating unnecessary bottlenecks for bold climate investments, and enforcing incentives for a just and green transition. Ultimately, these strategies and plans must be further enforced by a climate law. Globally, there are good practices where countries have long-term climate change laws that help with the whole of society approach for new climate ambitions. It will also enable breakthrough innovations, avoiding unnecessary policy overlaps and silo mechanisms.

2.     Second, it is vital that Viet Nam accelerates adaptation measures to build resilient societies for all, particularly those most vulnerable at the frontline of climate change. Via GCF readiness window, we are working with key ministries to systematically assess and prioritize long term adaptation actions, while mainstreaming optimal measures into national and local plans and budgets. We are also working on developing a coherent M&E system across all sectors for tracking progress transparently. We look forward to deepening our NAP readiness support to MONRE to finalise the NDC and NAP before COP27. In line with government’s resilience-building agenda, UNDP has actively supported local communities with transformational adaptation projects where co-benefits of climate actions are optimal. With GCF and GEF finance, we are planting and regenerating 4,000 ha of coastal mangrove, and have built over 4,000 resilient houses. This type of work, which benefit people on the ground, needs to be further supported and financed.

3.     Third, the strategy should help to establish a strong and transparent planning for a green and just transition process. While we must move rapidly to a low carbon future, equal attention should also be given to vulnerable people who are impacted by both the energy transition and who need to adapt to the changing climate. UNDP is assessing the impact of phasing-out coal power and energy transition, and what specifically these processes would mean for Viet Nam. This includes assessment of the socio-economic impact of Energy Master Plan to reach net zero by 2050. Viet Nam needs to maximize positive socio-economic impacts and at the same time introduce key safeguard measures to protect local communities and natural resources from any adverse effects as we move towards the net-zero target.  At the heart of our climate programmes, women and youth must be empowered in championing climate knowledge and technologies to lead green innovations and resilient businesses.

4.     Lastly, Viet Nam must introduce transparent policy framework on green financing flows to support new green and resilient projects and investments. Both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and domestic private sector finance are essential to support the achievements of Net-zero emission target by 2050. Investments to offshore wind power, solar power, upgrading grid system and storage of electricity require tens of billions of US Dollars, which cannot be met using public funds alone. It is equally important to establish a clear set of criteria for environmental and climate safeguards in all investment projects.  In line with the global trends, Viet Nam should manage green financial flows by establishing a transparent mechanism for domestic and international capital markets, market-based carbon pricing, accountable green facilities for green credit and green bond facilities toward long-term climate targets.

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Vietnam has continuously demonstrated the ability to successfully bring development gains of global cooperation and integration, including in the multilateral international cooperation for climate change.

We very much look forward to today’s discussions and your contributions to support Viet Nam in finalizing this important Draft Climate Change Strategy to support the Government in driving forward these vital climate ambitions.

UNDP looks forward to working with the Government of Viet Nam and all partners to finalizing and implementing the Climate Change Strategy, bringing the best of national efforts and international cooperation together to forge a net-zero future by 2050 where no one is left behind.

Xin cảm ơn!