Date:             08:30, Friday, 22nd October 2021
Location:        Virtually and MOC, 37 Le Dai Hanh, Hanoi

Your Excellency, Mr. Le Quang Hung, Vice Minister of Construction

Mr. Vu Ngoc Anh, National Project Director, Director General of Department of Science, Technology and Environment

Mr. Trinh Quoc Vu, Deputy Director of the Sustainable Development and Energy Efficiency  Department of Ministry of Industry and Trade  

Distinguished representatives from government agencies, local authorities, businesses in building sector, institutions and academia;

Ladies and gentlemen;

I am very delighted and honoured to join Vice Minister Hùng in welcoming you virtually and physically to this important workshop to share and discuss how to sustain the results of the Project “Energy Efficiency Improvement in Commercial and High-Rise Residential Buildings” and further promote energy efficient buildings in Viet Nam.

Buildings are among the largest energy consumers, accounting for 35-40 per cent of final energy consumption in Viet Nam. Rapid urbanization and expansion of the building sector threatens to increase this share of energy consumption as well as greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change.

Having commenced in 2016, the EECB project was designed to address barriers to improved energy efficiency performance and gradually realize the untapped potential of energy savings from buildings that directly contribute to greenhouse gas mitigation, as set in Resolution No. 24/NQ-TW on active response to climate change, improvement of natural resource management and environmental protection. The project also contributes to the implementation of the Politburo Resolution 55 on Orientation of National Energy Development Strategy to 2030 with a vision to 2045, Viet Nam’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), and the 2021-2030 Viet Nam Energy Efficiency Programme as mentioned by Vice Minister Hùng.  

As a result of project implementation, I would like to highlight significant progress made to the regulatory framework to enable further development of energy efficient and green buildings. The Government is commended for stronger determination, as evidenced by the inclusion of energy efficiency considerations for the first time into the revised Law on Construction in 2020 and ongoing development of other legislative documents and standards. UNDP is very proud of our partnership with the Government of Viet Nam, building sector and other stakeholders to enable such important and positive changes.

The efforts that we have made together over the last five years are significant, leading to a direct greenhouse emission reduction of more than 73,035 tCO2, nearly double the target set at the project design.

Among 23 new and retrofitted buildings, investment in 75 energy efficiency solutions have resulted in cost savings of about US$ 1.53 million and energy savings of between 25% to 67%. These results leave no room for speculation about wrongly perceived high costs of energy efficiency solutions. Energy efficient solutions can be technically and economically adapted to different types of buildings.

These achievements would not have been possible without the active engagement and strong partnership from government, building developers and owners, design, construction and operation technical teams, scientific and academic institutions, among other stakeholders.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks to all project partners and individuals for their valuable contribution to the project’s overall success. I highly appreciate the building owners and developers that have made significant efforts to adopt energy efficient approaches and solutions in their buildings.

We would also like to express our great appreciation to the Global Environment Facility for their financial contribution to this important project.

Lastly, we would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Construction for fruitful collaboration towards energy efficient buildings, and in the other areas of climate change adaptation such as the implementation of a storm-resilient housing programme to build resilience among vulnerable people in coastal provinces and other areas of our collaborations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tremendous achievements have been made, but there is much more to do and a much bigger market to be developed for energy efficient and green buildings. I would like to highlight the following three key recommendations:

1)     First, the establishment of a set of tools containing specific energy consumption profiles, benchmarking, and an energy efficient building certification scheme represents a major step towards implementation of the revised Law on Construction and energy efficiency building code. Since the operation phase accounts for 70% - 80% of total emissions over a building’s lifetime, it is essential that these tools are formally introduced and updated on a yearly basis for continuously monitoring and improving a building’s energy performance. This will further help raise the public awareness, and steadily drive increasing demand for more energy efficient and green working and living places.

2)     Secondly, greater incentive schemes and innovative financing have been proven to be conducive to the broad development of energy efficient buildings. Further inter-ministerial discussion will be needed to upgrade existing, but sometimes hardly accessible schemes, or to define new ones for the building sector. The creation of an enabling environment for green financing such as green loans or green bonds is equally necessary for financial access by the private sector to spur investment in energy efficient and green buildings.

3)     Finally, the private sector should be encouraged to set the expected energy performance of their buildings as a key feature. Such a move is strongly encouraged as Net Zero Energy or even Net Zero Carbon buildings must become the industry standard by 2050. Public awareness of the co-benefits in the form of health, environment, and reduced electricity bills should also be raised to generate increased demand for energy efficient and green buildings.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In recent remarks to the High-level Dialogue on energy, UN General Secretary António Guterres urged the global community to “triple investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency”. An also President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at this year’s UN General Assembly brought attention to the climate crisis, stressing “as we head to the COP26 Summit, we need to make every effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions”.

Today, you will hear discussion among the Government, building owners, development partners and experts to help better sustain joint efforts, best practices, and collaboration in accelerating energy efficient and green buildings in Viet Nam.

I wish you a fruitful exchange as we share in the collective responsibility and actions for sustainable and safe building environment for everyone, everywhere, while, leaving no one behind.

Wishing you good health, safety, and success!

Xin cảm ơn!

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