Date:     Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Event:   High-level dialogue on Climate Change in Viet Nam
Venue: Melia Hotel, 44B Ly Thuong Kiet, Ha Noi

Excellency Mr. Le Cong Thanh, MONRE Vice Minister

Dr. Hoesung Lee, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC;

Leaders of ministries, members of the National Committee on Climate Change - the NCCC, and Viet Nam Panel on Climate Change - VPCC

Distinguished Development Partners;

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen

Xin Chao!

I would like to join the Vice Minister in welcoming and thanking all of you for joining this high-level dialogue on climate change in Viet Nam. It is taking place at a critical point in time as the IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C was approved just four days ago, and it is just few weeks before the COP24 in Katowice.

I would like to congratulate the IPCC Chair and the delegation for the adoption of the special report and thank you for selecting Viet Nam as the first country to share this important report.

Today’s dialogue is a unique and strategic opportunity to discuss opportunities to increase ambition and expedite transformation to achieve the Paris Agreement objective and Viet Nam’s climate change targets, in order to keep the impacts of climate change within what we believe to be manageable levels.

In this connection, I would like to congratulate Viet Nam for pioneering the update of its NDC through a dynamic and participatory process, where all ministries have taken an active role in defining their targets and identifying their priorities and actions. UNDP is proud of providing technical support to this process together with GIZ and other development partners.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On this occasion, I would like to share some reflections on four key areas that will be part of our deliberations today:

First, at global level, it is becoming increasingly clear that as the ‘safe limit’ of 1.5 degree warming threshold looms, the cost of climate inaction far outweighs the cost of action.

Decision makers must act very quickly and ambitiously to reduce GHG emissions and to increase financial commitments for climate action. While public finance for climate actions is modestly happening, such as through the Green Climate Fund, much more efforts and innovation are needed, especially the promotion of private sector participation.

The Global Commission on Economy and Climate estimated that disasters triggered by weather- and climate-related hazards were responsible for thousands of deaths and 320 billion USD in losses in 2017.

However, climate action also presents a tremendous development opportunity, and if proactively managed, could add USD 26 trillion to the global economy and create 24 million new jobs worldwide by 2030.

Secondly, I would like to commend Viet Nam for making significant efforts in climate change adaptation and as the first country in Asia to be awarded with a Green Climate Fund project that is building resilience for coastal vulnerable communities, especially the most-at risk poor and ethnic groups.

As Viet Nam is strategically creating the foundation for industry 4.0, including e-government, the creation of a comprehensive and publicly available database on risks and loss and damage is feasible. This will help to effectively respond to climate change. Such information will also help to catalyse the participation of the private sector in addressing loss and damage beyond adaptation capacity such as risk transfer and insurance.

UNDP’s recent work on the co-benefits of climate actions shows many advantages of adaptation-based mitigation interventions. From climate smart urban planning to the transition to high-tech agricultural production, these actions can drive economic development, safeguard investments, reduce GHG emissions, and help to achieve the SDGs

Thirdly, climate action requires a climate ‘Doi Moi’ (renewal) as fundamental as the economic ‘Doi Moi’ that first allowed free market trade. This Viet Nam “climate renewal” can  take advantage of rapid technological innovations, make clean and green investments, and improve resource productivity.

Viet Nam has great potential for renewable energy. Viet Nam can deploy at least 85 gigawatt of solar photovoltaic generation capacity and 21 gigawatt of wind energy generation, well before 2050, showing that a low-carbon pathway is possible. The combined total technical capacity (126 GW) is an equivalence of 80 percent of the Viet Nam’s total installed energy capacity by 2030 (129.5 GW).

Viet Nam also has a large potential for energy saving of up to 7.0% relative to the business-as-usual, through to year 2035. Energy efficiency measures can remove some 67 million tonnes of CO2e in year 2035 and deliver additional environmental benefits.

Finally, cutting across all climate efforts, is the importance of enabling the access, contribution and involvement of the private sector.

A UNDP recent survey with 13 large banks and investors show that there is at least USD 10 billion readily available for investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency in Viet Nam, if investment barriers are eased by the government.

As Viet Nam is strategically reforming its business sector with the establishing of a “Super Committee” for managing capital at 19 key State Own Enterprises, with a total capital of 130 billion USD, the creation of a fair and transparent environment and market is within reach. The priority should be the transformation of the energy sector to a transparent and competitive energy market.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Globally, UNDP’s vision for Sustainable Development is one of “a Climate Resilient, Zero-carbon Future.” Successful implementation of the Paris Agreement is key to sustainable development..

We are very glad to see various stakeholders and partners engaged in today’s dialogue on climate change. UNDP is looking forward to continuing our collaboration and partnerships with all stakeholders to support Viet Nam towards a resilient and zero carbon future.

I would like to end by wishing everyone a successful and fruitful dialogue.  

Xin Cam On!

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