Technical consultation workshop on Environmentally Friendly Public Transportation Development and Action Plan Recommendation for Hue City

Opening remarks by Ms. Ramla Khalidi, Resident Representative of UNDP Viet Nam

February 23, 2024

-    Mr. Lê Toàn Thắng, Deputy Director, Thua Thien Hue Provincial Department of Transport;
-    Representatives from departments, mass organisations, academia, and media agencies;
-    Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning and xin chao!

I am very pleased to join Mr. Thắng, even if only by video link, in welcoming you to today’s workshop on environmentally friendly public transportation with recommendations for Hue City. The road transport sector accounts for three-quarters of global transport emissions, most of which is due to passenger vehicles – cars and buses. That is why Thua Thien Hue’s practical approach to green transport is to be commended. Through the adoption of e-trucks for waste collection, concessional loans that encourage people to buy electric vehicles, and modalities for bike and e-bike sharing, Hue City has demonstrated the feasibility and benefits of green transport. UNDP is pleased to provide support today and accompany Thua Thien Hue in this important journey.

Ladies and gentlemen, 
Low carbon transportation systems are a win-win solution combatting both climate change and improving urban air quality. The World Health Organization estimates some 60,000 deaths a year in Viet Nam are linked to air pollution, with vehicle emissions cited as a major contributing factor. Efforts to boost electrification of transport enable zero tailpipe emissions, significantly reducing respiratory illnesses, and other health problems. The National Government’s approval of the Action Programme on Green Transformation and Carbon and Methane Reduction of the Transport Sector is a key milestone aiming to achieve 100% electrification of road vehicles by 2050. Its successful implementation would result in enormous health benefits for residents of Hue City.

In the context of implementing Thua Thien Hue province’s Green Growth Urban Development Plan to 2020, various policies and strategies have been introduced. These serve as a solid foundation for green development that embraces Hue’s unique cultural and historical significance. Among these, encouraging walking and cycling to reduce traffic congestion as well as promoting the shift to electric vehicles and cleaner fuels plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a green lifestyle among both residents and tourists.

Local level innovations and policy experiments have frequently provided the spark and inspiration for wider adoption in Viet Nam. An ambitious national programme requires a concrete action plan at the city level, to contribute to national targets. Our efforts today entail recommendations for a green transport action plan for Hue City that we hope can serve as a model for other urban centres across Viet Nam.

As you deliberate ways to refine the draft action plan, I would like to highlight 3 points for your consideration: 

  • First, green transportation offers promising opportunities for achieving low-carbon urban development, when complemented with a circular economy approach. For the province and Hue City in particular, we should consider ways to minimise resource extraction and waste generation, extend the life span of e-vehicles, and create new jobs;
  • Second, the promotion of innovative transport solutions, such as e-trucks, e-vehicles, e-bikes, and bike-sharing systems can enhance urban transport connectivity, reduce air pollution, improve access to residential areas and tourist hotspots, and advance decarbonization of the transport sector; and
  • Third, to ensure sustained and coherent progress, an integrated approach is essential. Hue City may need to formulate a comprehensive master plan and roadmaps, establishing a network that seamlessly integrates eco-friendly infrastructure with the transportation system. Additionally, implementing policies to manage, operate, and incentivize the sustainability of green initiatives is crucial.

In conclusion, I would like to extend our great appreciation to Thua Thien Hue PPC, and to all our partners and stakeholders working together towards low-carbon urban development.

I look forward to an open and informative discussion as we move towards the green transport development goals of Hue City. 
I wish you all good health, happiness, and success!
Thank you! Xin cảm ơn!