Excellency Minister Trần Hồng Hà,
Representatives from Central Party Committees, Government Office and line ministries
Excellency Ambassador Gareth Ward,
Excellency Ambassadors and Representatives from Development Partners,
Colleagues from UN agencies and NGOs,
Distinguished representatives from businesses, press and media agencies, mass organizations,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Xin chào!

It is an honor to attend this important event today on the outcomes of COP 26 and implications for Viet Nam.  On behalf of UNDP I would like to express our gratitude to Minister Ha and the team from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for bringing us all together.  

At the oustet, UNDP would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam, Minister Ha and MONRE for the significant contribution to the success of the COP26, by making commitments to reach net-zero carbon emission by 2050 and by joining other important initiatives including ending deforestation, and reducing methane gas emissions by 2030. Viet Nam's ambitions announced at COP26 once again affirm its pivotal and exemplary contributions to multilateral cooperation. Despite all the challenges faced as an emerging economy and the extraordinary impacts of COVID-19 and climate change, Viet Nam stands firm in adopting ambitious targets and climate action to keep the global climate goal of maintaining warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Together with the Embassies of the UK and Italy, UNDP co-chairs a Technical Working Group on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Climate Change, under the Development Partners Group in Viet Nam, which also  provides support to the Informal Ambassador Group on Development and Cooperation (IAGDC) to discuss priorities and align support to Viet Nam for reaching its climate ambitions from COP26. The Technical Working Group also pleased to support the Ambassador Group in drafting letters and communications to the government and the Prime Minister.

In this capacity, I am happy to share that the Informal Ambassador Group on Development and Cooperation under the Development Partner Group, comprising eighteen (18) Ambassadors, the World Bank and the UN Agencies, sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Mr. Pham Minh Chinh on 2nd December, making a firm commitment with an improved offer of financial and technical assistance to support Viet Nam in delivering the new climate targets. The like-minded donors are ready to support the Government to mobilize international resources, including a combination of increased public and private investment, drawing on ODA and concessional loans to reduce the cost to Viet Nam, and provide needed expertise, knowledge, and technology to accelerate the green transition and improve the environment.

Critically, the development partners would like to continue direct dialogues with the Prime Minister and Government leaders to openly discuss how they can effectively support Viet Nam’ climate actions.

Excellency Minister, Ladies and gentlemen,

As Viet Nam shifts to translating COP26 commitments into accelerated climate change actions, UNDP would like to propose the followings for your consideration:

First, as immediate next step, there is an urgent need to update and align all key strategies and plans with the Net Zero Carbon Emission Target by 2050. This includes: the Power Development Plan #8, National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS), Viet Nam Green Growth Strategy (VGGS), updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and other relevant strategies and plans.

Secondly, robust climate governance is essential to ensure active participation, clear targets and responsibilities among key ministries, sectors and local authorities to align their plans and programs to the new climate targets. We welcome the proposed establishment of a committee headed by Prime Minister to implement COP26, commitment with leading role of MONRE announced by Minister Ha. We also endorse the focus on NRG transition. It would be important that this committee also include ministries from other key sectors that make major contribution to GHG emissions.

Equally, it is important that this Committee Office be empowered to have authority to reinforce priority setting and policy implementation from the central to local levels. It is advisable to have direct engagement of the Prime Minister Office and in addition to the lead role played by MONRE, the engagement of other key ministries such as Ministry of Industry and Trade would help enhance effective horizontal and vertical coordination and action to ensure impactful outcomes.

Thirdly, there is a need to increase the role and investments of private sector. As the Prime Minister highlighted yesterday at the Annual Summit on Industry Revolution 4.0, Viet Nam needs to achieve dual growth goals of becoming a high mid-income country and ensuring green, inclusive growth, which is only possible with private sector investment.

Government has a key role to play in streamlining policies and catalyzing finance that are essential for the development of new industries and to achieve the commitments set out at COP-26 to shift investment away from extractive and polluting sectors towards carbon-neutral opportunities to accelerate climate resilience, biodiversity protection and sustainable development.

Export growth is vitally important to sustaining economic growth, especially among middle income countries. Public investment is an important instrument, especially if strategic investment in transport, power, logistics, research, education and training can help domestic firms lower costs and achieve greater competitiveness. Successful industrializing countries have also used long-term finance as a tool to promote innovation and help companies achieve economies of scale.

Vietnamese firms and products are likely to face new environmental barriers for export such as border carbon taxes. It will be important for the government to assess and analyze potential impacts and support businesses to understand, prepare and restructure their investments toward green, resilient development to reduce future risks.

Fourthly, climate finance: To mobilize large scale climate finance to deliver impactful outcomes, Viet Nam would do well to introduce a climate finance strategy to enable effective coordination for a combination and mix of public finance, private investment, ODA, and loans. The financial strategy would aim to mobilize finance to invest in strategic areas that require large upfront investments. This includes infrastructure that enables renewable energy (smart electricity grid, electricity storage), transition of energy sector (phasing down coal, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies), and transport electrification.

In setting priorities it will be important to strike a balance between climate change mitigation and adaptation. On the one hand, international finance should not fully shift to mitigation, there must be good balance and allocation of resources to climate adaptation.

Fifthly, the Youth have been and will continue playing an important role as agents of change in addressing climate change. UNDP was pleased to work with MONRE, the Italian and UK Embassies to promote the voice and contribution of Vietnamese youth for COP26 and critically youth made a strong contribution to the success of the COP26. It is important that their voice and contribution continue to be heard and promoted.

Finally, I am delighted to share with you that today UNDPs new report titled “Analysis of International Experience in Formulating and Implementing Climate Change Strategies and the Global Context” is being released. The report provides many valuable lessons and case studies from a number of developing and developed countries that are making progress in transforming to carbon neutral economies by 2050 or sooner. We hope you will find the recommendations useful for accelerating  actions to meet the national net-zero carbon target by 2050, here in Viet Nam

We look forward to working closely with MONRE and all partners present to strengthen cooperation for building a green, sustainable and resilient Viet Nam, where no one is left behind.

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