COP26 Energy Transition Council: National Dialogue with Vietnam

Remarks by Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. UNDP Resident Representative

Posted April 19, 2022

Excellency, Mr Nguyen Duc Hien, Vice Chairman of the Central Economic Commission,
Excellency, Mr Nguyen Tuan Anh, Vice Chairman of the Science, Technology and Environment Commission, the National Assembly,
Excellency, Mr Dang Hoang An, Vice Minister of Industry and Trade,
Excellency, Mr Gareth Ward, British Ambassador in Vietnam,
Excellency, Mr Giorgio Aliberti, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Union,
Excellency, Mr Ken OFlaherty, COP26 Ambassador for Asia Pacific and South Asia,

Ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of the United Nations, I would like to again commend the bold commitments made by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at COP26 on climate action, especially the net-zero emissions target by 2050 and the commitment to phase out coal power in the 2040s will have major ramifications.

We welcome the initiative of the UK as president of COP26 for launching this important “COP26 Energy Transition Council”, which has already engaged stakeholders and enabled analysis of energy transition scenarios.

Four key national policy frameworks to guide the transition are being revised to align with the net-zero target and are due to be released  soon. These are 1) the National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS) for the period to 2030 with outlook to 2050, will be shared next week by MONRE; 2) The Power Development Plan 8, led by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) which has the potential to  make significant contributions to the net-zero target; 3) Viet Nam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that will be updated prior to COP27; and 4) The National Adaptation Plan. The UN is providing technical support to all 4 frameworks.

There are a number of UN initiatives to support the government in realizing the COP26 targets. These include:   

Key technical analysis for the development of the National Climate Change Strategy, including assessment of international and domestic finance opportunities and ways to enhance private sector contributions to achieve the targets, by UNDP

Analysis on coal abatement scenarios for Viet Nam which will be presented by UNOPS today at this dialogue

Assessment of the potential of carbon capture, storage and use (CCUS), and green hydrogen to expand new potentials for energy transition is being undertaken by UNDP and UNIDO.

  • Support to Vietnamese cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs, including women entrepreneurs, to link to markets and financiers to commercialize their products and services and to transform the nascent cleantech market into a dynamic and vibrant one, by UNIDO and UNDP.
  • Supporting partners to upscale technology and measures to improve energy efficiency, integrate renewable energy in cooling tech and addressing the ozone-depleting substances (ODS gasses), through UNEP’s Cool Coalition.

Policy and programmes focused on e-mobility, energy efficiency, in buildings and in industry with the upscaling of eco-industrial park models respectively supported by UNDP and UNIDO hold tremendous possibilities for scaling and reducing GHG emissions. UNEP also leads the Global Alliance on Building and Construction (GABC) of which Viet Nam is a member country.

Strengthening the national Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) system to improve GHG inventory to meet requirements under Paris Agreement, by UNDP with MONRE.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Moving forward, there are 5 areas we would highlight that are key to accelerating climate action and the energy transition:

  1. Early approval of the power development plan No8 and the climate change strategy that  are fully aligned with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 and coal phase out by 2040, and revision of the Nationally Determined Contributions before COP27.
  2. Vulnerable people and workers: Due attention must be given to those who are most vulnerable and impacted by energy transition. Decommissioning of existing coal power plants will have major implications for the workers in these power plants, the companies concerned, as well as coal miners and business involved in coal transport.   UNDP is currently initiating in-depth analysis of what phasing-out coal power would concretely mean for Viet Nam.
  3. Financing the transition: The UN would be happy to work with the Government and Development Partners on developing a clear climate finance strategy to accompany both Climate Change Strategy and PDP8 for effective and coordinated mobilisation of climate finance, for an effective combination of public finance, private investment, ODA, and loans to deliver energy transition, focusing on phasing out coal , and increasing both renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    It is equally important to ensure that the capacity of domestic firms and SMEs are strengthened so that they can develop a steady pipeline of green bankable projects, which is one way to help ensure that the energy transition is just and beneficial for all.
  4. Transparent governance: There is a need for strong cooperation and transparent planning of the Government, Development Partners and the business sector, with clear targets and milestones for an effective energy transition, leaving no one behind. 
  5. Climate Change Adaptation: While we must move faster on energy transition, it is imperative we ensure it is an inclusive transition that benefits vulnerable people who are impacted by both the energy transition and who need to adapt to the changing climate. UNDP is currently working with MONRE, MPI, MARD, MOT, and MOH to enhance systematic planning for climate adaptation to build resilient societies for all.  

In this connection, I congratulate the Government of Viet Nam on the adoption of the Monitoring and Evaluation framework for climate change adaptation. Moving ahead, UNDP is supporting the Government of Viet Nam in updating the National Adaptation Plan and we encourage the Government to accelerate and complete the process before COP27.

We very much look  forward to today’s discussions and hope it will lead to agreement on practical,  concrete next steps to realizing a just energy transition that will deliver a vibrant green inclusive future for the people of Viet Nam.

Thank you – Xin cam on!