Bottlenecks assessment and solutions to accelerate implementation of Paris Agreement in Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s NDC aims to reduce the currently steeply growing emission trajectory by 8% through national support measures and by 25% with international support. However, mitigation measures included in Viet Nam’s Nationally Determined Contribution currently do not fully reflect all cost-effective and affordable opportunities for reduction of GHG emissions that are present in the country. In a business as usual scenario, Viet Nam is on track to become a major GHG emitter by 2030, at a time when other major economies are taking stepped up action to decarbonize.
Viet Nam’s climate actions currently prioritize climate change adaptation. Its current responses however do not address long term implications of the predicted loss of coastal land and associated infrastructure if global temperature rise is not managed in accordance with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. These vulnerabilities suggest it would be in Viet Nam’s interest to actively join global GHG emission reduction efforts.
Viet Nam has a considerable renewable energy potential – technically, 85,000 MW of solar photovoltaic generation capacity and more than 21,000 MW of wind power generation capacity could be installed, aggregating to about 32% of the total power generation capacity by the year 2030. There is a high level of interest from the private sector to invest in renewable power and initial investments have been made. However, investments for deployment of full potential are constrained by the existing regulatory framework and a low capacity of power transmission grid.
Viet Nam has major unused opportunities for energy savings, with technical potential in some energy-intensive industries reaching 40% of present energy consumption per unit of output. The current prices of electricity and fuels used by industry however do not reflect their environmental and health costs and are generally too low to justify investments into energy efficiency measures.
Existing adaptation and resilience building efforts in the country have so far focused mainly on responses. Less attention is given to preparedness for future extreme events and enhancement of the long-term resilience of communities to climate change risks.
Rapid urbanization increases vulnerability to extreme weather events and increases congestion, urban GHG emissions and air pollution. Current systems of environmental fees do not generate sufficient revenues to mobilize investments into environmental protection and restoration of ecosystem services that are needed to boost the local adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change.
Other economic instruments could also be strengthened. For example, the current system of Payments for Forest Ecosystem Services offers an important source of income for owners and users of forests having important watershed protection functions. The Forest Law adopted in 2017 envisaged establishment of additional payments for ‘absorption and retaining of forest carbon’ which are yet to be put in place.