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Vietnam needs further efforts to mitigate climate change: Experts

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Vietnam has actively implemented international commitments andmade efforts to cope with climate change. 

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Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Le Cong Thanh addresses the dialogue

 

Experts have voiced that Vietnam needs to become a demanding participant in international climate negotiations and actively make efforts to tackle climate change since the country is among the most heavily impacted by this negative phenomenon.

They made the comment at high-level dialogue on climate change organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam (MONRE) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on October 10. 

At the dialogue, experts also shared information on the newly-approved Special Report of the IPCC on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C and related global greenhouse gas emission.

Addressing the dialogue, Deputy Minister of MONRE Le Cong Thanh said that as one of the countries heavily impacted by climate change, Vietnam has actively implemented international commitments and made efforts to cope with climate change. He added that Vietnam has issued a plan for the Implementation of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, with a focus on implementing its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). 

The dialogue focuses on issues related to the response actions to climate change in Vietnam, promoting cooperation, connection with development partners, scientific community, enterprises, organizations and individuals to response to climate change, Thanh noted.

Speaking about the guidelines of the Special Report, Prof. Hoesung Lee, chairman of the IPCC, emphasized that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius (ºC) would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.

With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, he added.

According to the report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Lee said.

Vietnam needs stronger actions 

UNDP Country Director Caitlin Wiesen commended that UNDP is proud of having strong partnership with the Vietnamese government to build resilience for most-at risk communities, especially the poor and ethnic groups, and affected regions such as coastal area and Mekong delta. 

Building on strong foundation achieved through the economic renovation, known as “Doi moi”, Vietnam can certainly achieve climate resilient and low-carbon development pathways, benefiting from interaction between rapid technological innovation, sustainable infrastructure investment, and increased resource productivity, she said.

 The report highlights a number of climate change impacts that could be avoided by limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to 2ºC, or more. For instance, by 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared with 2ºC.

The likelihood of an Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5°C, compared with at least once per decade with 2ºC. Coral reefs would decline by 70–90 percent with global warming of 1.5°C, whereas virtually all (>99%) would be lost with 2ºC, Caitlin Wiesen added.

She emphasized that the high-level dialogue is a unique and strategic opportunity to discuss opportunities to increase ambition and expedite transformation to achieve the Paris Agreement objective and Vietnam’s climate change targets, in order to keep the impacts of climate change within manageable levels. 

Wiesen also congratulated Vietnam on 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, she stressed.

Wiesen commended Vietnam 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.

Vietnam has great potential for renewable energy. Vietnam can deploy at least 85 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic generation capacity and 21 gigawatts of wind energy generation, well before 2050, showing that a low-carbon pathway is possible, said the UNDP Country Director.

Besides, the country 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, she added.

 

Source: Hanoitimes

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