Speech at the Green Growth Consultation Workshop

19 Mar 2012

Speaker: Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director
Date:       19 March 2012
Event:     Green Growth Consultation Workshop

Members of the business community;
Colleagues from MPI;
Development partners;

Let me start by congratulating the MPI and Vice Minister Phuong for its continued leadership in drafting a green growth strategy for Viet Nam. I would also like to thank MPI and VCCI for organizing this important consultation workshop with the business community and for inviting me to be with you this morning.

At UNDP, we believe that this strategy is a critical step towards preparing Viet Nam for the future and moving the country to the next phase in its development. The strategy will help Viet Nam to gradually move from its current economic growth model to a more sustainable growth model based on higher productivity and a balance between economic, social and environmental protection priorities as defined in the Viet Nam Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020).

The emerging threats of climate change, resource scarcity and energy insecurity are forcing us to rethink current development paths. We have seen that current development paths are resource inefficient in general and highly dependent on fossil fuels. This dependency will in particular affect those economies that are resource inefficient. Recent analysis shows that Viet Nam is relatively resource inefficient and if it is to become more competitive, resources need to be used more efficiently.

It is therefore very appropriate that a green economy has been selected as one of the key themes for the upcoming Rio+20 summit. Green growth is an important way to address climate change and some of the underlying weaknesses of the current development models. Experience shows that countries which have adopted a green growth strategy early on, such as Denmark and Germany, have experienced a positive impact on social equity through green employment generation. In Germany for example, renewable energy alone has generated over 400,000 new jobs.                /…                 We hope that during the Rio+20 summit, Viet Nam will be able to showcase its green growth strategy. This will firmly underline the country’s commitment to green growth and sustainable development.

Green growth strategies and efforts are increasingly being led by Asia. Countries like Korea and China, for example, are making major efforts to reduce their green house gas emissions. Others, like Indonesia and the Philippines, have started projects to reduce emissions from the forest sector, thereby promoting renewable energy and reducing fossil fuel emissions. The importance of Asia as a driver for green growth is underlined by the high level of green investments in the region. While globally around 11-16% of the global economic recovery package to address the 2008-2009 financial crisis was invested in green growth, China has invested over 30% of its recovery packages in green growth while Korea has allocated more than 80%.

Today’s meeting is one of the first in which MPI is seeking input from the private sector. This is an encouraging step; we cannot overemphasize its importance since without private sector engagement and investment, the true change to green growth is not possible. The public sector continues to have a key role to play in initiating, facilitating and enabling green growth to happen. But ultimately, the changes towards cleaner production, green energy supply and sustainable use of natural capital require private sector initiatives and investments. Hence your input and engagement in green growth is essential.

I am therefore very pleased to see that many Vietnamese companies have already started to initiate green growth investments. Efforts in the steel, cement and tourism industries to develop green business models and introduce energy saving equipments are excellent examples of private sector led innovation. Such initiatives should be fostered and scaled up through an accommodative policy process.

I hope that today will see an interesting exchange of views between the private sector and the green growth drafting team and that this exchange will deepen in future.

Thank you very much for your attention.