Speech at the workshop on a low carbon economy in Viet Nam

Jul 12, 2012

Speaker: Ms. Setsuko Yamazaki, UNDP Country Director 
Date:       12 July 2012
Event:     Workshop on a low carbon economy in Viet Nam

Your Excellency, Mr Nguyen The Phuong, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment;
Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am very pleased to be at this joint event with MPI and two sister international financial institutions on one of the big challenges facing Viet Nam – low carbon development.
At the Rio+20 conference last month there was agreement that a green economy is an important tool for sustainable development. The outcome document stresses the importance of government leadership and the involvement of the private sector in creating green economies. 

As input for the formulation of the Green Growth Strategy, UNDP has been working with national partners to estimate feasible greenhouse gas emissions mitigation targets for the energy, agriculture and forestry sectors. The analysis shows that certain investments are both economically attractive and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, improve water quality and enhance natural capital. You will hear more about these results later today.

I am pleased that the World Bank, ADB and UNDP will continue to work together on further analysing these initial results. The World Bank and ADB will focus on comprehensive energy studies while UNDP will focus on the agriculture and forestry sectors.

Let me highlight three key points which are essential for implementation of the Green Growth Strategy and for real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

First of all, a gradual transformation of Viet Nam’s economic structure and investment priorities is important. This will help to improve the quality of growth, protect the environment and restore natural capital.

Secondly, public-private partnerships play an important role. The private sector plays a central role in green technology research and development, and most of the capital for future investment in green technology will come from the private sector. So government policies, including on public investment, must optimize conditions for business participation.

Finally, it is important to review energy fiscal policies. Viet Nam’s indirect fossil fuels subsidies are incompatible with sustainable development principles and hinder cleaner production, energy efficiency and development of non-hydro renewable energy. Removing energy subsidies will ensure higher long-term growth, better national energy security and help to create green jobs.

On a final note, I am very encouraged to learn that the Green Growth Strategy has now been submitted to the Prime Minster for review and approval. I would like to congratulate Vice Minister Phuong and his colleagues for their efforts on this. Indeed MPI is leading the work on sustainable development and green growth in Viet Nam – an area of crucial importance.

I wish you all a successful workshop. Thank you very much!