• Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Luong, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union
  • Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Climate Change, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Colleagues from the Italian Embassy and the UK Embassy, respective hosts of the Pre-COP 26 and COP 26
  • Distinguished guests from development partners organisations, NGOs, and media organisations
  • Youth from all regions, ethnic and social groups in Viet Nam

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning and xin chào.

I am honoured to welcome you all to the first Youth4Climate Conference, which marks the kick-off of the Youth4Climate Initiative in Viet Nam. This is a journey that we are delighted to take with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Hồ Chí Minh Youth Union and three youth-led CSOs in Viet Nam – CHANGE, Live and Learn and WildAct.

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. It is running faster than we are, but we have a moral obligation to win the race: for you, for our children and our grandchildren, as they will inherit from the world we built and from our decisions.

However, to date, the global commitment efforts, including from Viet Nam, are far from sufficient to meet the 2-degree targets. All countries, including Viet Nam, need to set-up more ambitious targets and actions by all members of societies, including the private sector and youth, to enhance their NDC plan in the near future proactively.

This is why UNDP launched the Global Promise, a global programme through which is committed to supporting 115 countries in enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions, by 2020.

We are delighted to launch the initiative Youth4Climate in Viet Nam under this programme.  The initiative has two main objectives.  Firstly, we want to build your capacity to understand better the challenges associated with climate change in Viet Nam and be empowered in your roles as agents of change. Secondly, in close collaboration with the Government, we intend to launch the first Special Report on Youth for Climate Action in Viet Nam, entirely written by youth, as well as introduce a concrete action plan towards COP26 and a broader roadmap to accelerate youth-led climate actions from 2021-to 2025, in parallel with Viet Nam’s NDC.

Colleagues and friends,

We face a climate emergency, and Viet Nam is one of the countries most affected by climate change. What does it mean concretely? Temperature and rainfalls vary, increasing or decreasing, depending on the region. Such changes, for example, seriously impact smallholder farmers as it modifies cropping patterns and damages their production. Young people and rural workers in disaster-prone areas migrate to urban areas, where they are exposed to new social, economic and environmental risks.

This climate emergency is echoed by the results of a recent UNDP global climate survey, in which 64% of people in Viet Nam considered climate change an emergency. The Peoples’ Climate Vote was published last month with 1.2 million respondents globally, making it the largest public opinion survey on climate change ever conducted.

Ladies and gentlemen,

A signatory of the Paris Agreement, the Government Viet Nam is committed to making contributions to achieve the global target of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels. The Prime Minister approved the revised Nationally Determined Contribution, the climate plan for the five years. The country also committed to making more substantial efforts to reducing greenhouse gases emissions by 9% compared to a business as usual scenario and by 27% with international support.  I want to command Viet Nam’s efforts in updating the NDC and including additional economic sectors in the baseline scenario. We also acknowledge the proactive and transparent approach in consulting with different partners.

Yet, youth voices have not been fully included in the process. We are now pleased to work more closely with the Government and the Youth Union under the Youth4Climate Initiative to bring further youth views and solutions to tackle climate challenges and accelerate their efforts to implement Viet Nam’s commitments to the Paris Agreement.

So, what can you do?

Youth in Viet Nam represent 23% of the population. You are a formidable force of change and leaders of our future. In line with the Youth4climate movement, you could be a dynamic impulse to mobilise your families, universities, and communities. You need to play your role in solving climate change, reducing emissions, speeding up adaptation efforts, and improving the accountability of stakeholders in reducing climate impacts. Youth are the powerhouse for innovation and action, and it is our role, as UNDP Viet Nam, to help you reach your full capacity. We believe that you are, and will be, one of the main driving forces in implementing the NDC targets.

Although we are launching the initiative today, more than 100 youth already got the opportunity to join our Youth4Climate regional consultations in the North, Central and South Viet Nam as well as the National Writeshop in Quy Nhon. They have learned from prominent scientists, policymakers, and impacted communities. They came together to write the Special Report providing their unique insights and perspectives to make climate action and the NDC more youth- responsive and youth-driven; and they will present the key findings today and at the Youth Events of the Pre-COP26 in Milan. They also identified numerous excellent youth-led actions spanning from adaptation in agriculture, plastic waste reduction, education to disaster risk reduction etc.

You are all welcome to join them in fast-tracking the Youth4Climate Roadmap 2021-2025 to a greener Viet Nam.

Distinguished youth,

UNDP is firmly committed to building your capacity, amplifying your voices, and supporting you in dealing with the biggest challenge of our time. I am pleased to reaffirm our support to help you realise some of the priorities that have been set in the Youth4Climate Roadmap, including the establishment of a Climate Knowledge Hub for Youth in Viet Nam. We hope to respond to youth needs on awareness and learning of Climate Sciences and Practices, climate policy, so that you can be more proactive in your participation in the formulation and implementation of the NDCs in the future.  With our partners from MONRE and HCM Youth Union, we are determined to foster an enabling environment for young citizens to participate in the transition to a greener and cleaner future.

I encourage you to learn, nurture your curiosity, take actions, be bold and creative. The steps you take today will impact your life as you grow-up. Be part of the change.  On behalf of the United Nations, I look forward to working with you to build that future.

With that, I would like to welcome you here today and extend my sincere appreciation to our key partners: the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Youth Union and the Italian and UK Embassy and other Youth-led CSOs including CHANGE, Live-and-Learn and WildAct, with whom we are joining forces in the implementation of the Youth4Climate Initiative in Viet Nam.

Thank you! Xin cảm ơn!

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