UNDP Powers Energy Saving Plan for SMEs

Nov 7, 2002

Ha Noi - The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Ministry of Science and Technology launched today a project to promote energy conservation in Small and Medium scale Enterprises and lessen their pollution impact on the environment.

Sponsored by the Global Environment Facility, the initiative - Promoting energy conservation in Small and Medium scale Enterprises – aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by removing a number of barriers to adoption of more energy efficient technologies and practices.

Under the project, energy management schemes will be developed, promoted and later will be scaled up to reach the country's SME sector, regardless of the ownership. Small- and micro-credits will be made available, affordable and accessible for SMEs for this purpose. The project will also help develop policy, institutional, informational and technical capacities of the Government in facilitating the adoption of energy efficiency technologies and practices in SMEs.

Many SMEs, which use environmentally harmful technologies, are big polluters with water pollution being the most serious concern followed by air pollution. However, due to scattered distribution of SMEs, little progress has been made to enforce existing environmental standards.

According to the Energy Conservation and Efficiency Master Plan of Viet Nam, SMEs consumed 1.4 million tons of oil equivalents of energy in 1998 in the form of coal, oil, gas, electricity, and wood. This figure is projected to double in 2005 in light of rapid economic growth.

"Energy conservation and efficiency are definitely a win-win situation", said Jordan Ryan, UNDP Resident Representative. “Improved practices will both allow Viet Nam to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality, while helping SMEs reduce their energy bill. It therefore makes both environmental and economic sense. And ensuring that SMEs are part of the answer makes good sense,” Ryan added.

If successful, the project is expected to realize significant improvements in energy saving in the SMEs by an average of 20%. This translates to an equivalent reduction of 240 ktons of carbon emissions per year. “This new project is one of the many contributions UNDP is undertaking to assist Viet Nam to implement the National Strategy for Environmental Protection and Five Year Action Plan”, said Mr. Ryan. “It also helps Viet Nam fulfill its obligations under the Framework Convention for Climate Change”.

Mr. Ryan added: “Since the poor suffer most from climate change and loss of natural resources, we must address these critical ‘poverty-environment-energy’ links that will make or break our efforts to achieve sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty”.

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