Remarks at the climate finance options workshop

16 Nov 2011

Speaker : Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director
Date      : 16 November 2011
Event     : Climate Finance Options Workshop

Dr. Nguyen Hoang Mai, Director General of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen:

Let me start by thanking the Ministry of Planning and Investment for the opportunity to address this meeting. I would also like to thank my colleagues at UNDP HQ and from the World Bank for their financial and technical support to this workshop on the development of a Climate Finance Options platform in Viet Nam.

In the context of the upcoming 17th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in South Africa at the end of this month, the workshop today is indeed very timely. Climate finance is one of the top priorities to be discussed and agreed upon in Durban. Many developing countries, including Viet Nam, are in great need of climate finance for adaptation and for low-carbon development.

But the climate finance landscape is notoriously complex and is not getting simpler. There are more than 60 sources of climate finance listed on international climate finance websites. They are governed by a diverse set of rules, procedures and conditions, making it difficult for governments, development partners, and other stakeholders to effectively access the funding they offer.

The Government of Viet Nam has already recognized climate-related risks and has taken a number of measures to address them, including through the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change and the Climate Change Strategy. Commendably, the Government has also started formulating a Green Growth Strategy.

Viet Nam has also made good progress in building capacity to mobilize climate change finance. A good example is the Support Programme to Respond to Climate Change, to which four donors are already contributing and two more may follow – these are JICA, AFD, CIDA and the WB, plus AusAID and the Korean EXIM Bank, respectively. Viet Nam’s access to climate finance is likely to increase in the coming time as its needs are better articulated and donors are gradually shifting towards supporting climate change work.

Today we are making a new step towards strengthening Viet Nam’s access to climate finance. UNDP and the World Bank have been working closely together to develop this internet-based tool called the Climate Finance Options platform.             We hope that it will provide you, the policy makers, with up-to-date information on climate finance sources and improve your ability to access them.

For today’s meeting, I would like to highlight four points for discussion and consideration.

First of all, Viet Nam should have a coherent mechanism in place to manage climate finance. Dedicated and appropriately skilled human resources are key to this, and so is enhanced coordination of efforts. It is critical that expert knowledge in the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance is fully utilized to capture all the financial opportunities available. Other ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, or the Ministry of Construction will use these sources along with local authorities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas mitigation in their investments. In other words, coherent management of climate finance will bring about better integration of this finance in wider development efforts.

Secondly, it is important to recognize that while international finance is important, domestic and private finance will be the main sources for adaptation and mitigation investments. Viet Nam must find ways to leverage private sector investment in, for example, climate-proofed social service infrastructure and low-emission electricity generation.

Thirdly, it is important to have in place transparent accounting and reporting mechanisms on the use of climate finance, both domestically and externally funded. This is essential in order to maximize access to climate finance, including meeting the stringent requirements for the so called “direct access” to climate finance, which does not pass through multilateral or bilateral agencies but goes directly to national entities.

Finally, the Climate Finance Options knowledge platform should not only serve as an information channel, but also a platform for dialogue. This will help line ministries and provinces incorporate climate finance in their development plans. The platform could also support the introduction of innovative financing mechanisms, such as loan guarantee schemes.

I encourage all of you here today to discuss the critical elements and priorities of the Vietnamese version of the Climate Finance Options platform, in order to make it a useful tool for you and the important work you are spearheading.

I believe this will be an excellent contribution to achieving our shared objective of a future Viet Nam that is prosperous, green and climate-resilient.

I wish you fruitful discussions. Xin Cam On va Chuc Suc Khoe!