Tuesday, December 6 2016

VietNamNews

VN readies Paris agreement plans

Update: September, 03/2016 - 09:53
Việt Nam has completed its draft implementation plan of the historic global climate Paris agreement and is rushing to carry it out as soon as possible, said the environmental minister. — Photo gef.monre.gov.vn

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam has completed its draft implementation plan of the historic global climate Paris agreement and is rushing to carry it out as soon as possible, said the environmental minister.

The plan was brought to the spotlight at a consultation workshop yesterday to gather opinions on the plan’s feasibility from relevant ministries and agencies and international partners.

“That we can quickly carry out the Paris agreement will help with our response to climate change in Việt Nam,” Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà said.

The groundbreaking Paris agreement was the first-ever universal, legally-binding climate deal adopted last year as the latest effort by the global community to tackle climate change.

As one of the nations most affected by climate change, Việt Nam of late has experienced increasingly severe natural disasters, from mass-scale drought choking nearly half of the country to the rampant salinisation in the southern delta that has affected the lives of thousands of people.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Haoliang Xu said the participation of the enterprise sector – domestic or international – was key to achieve the goals initially outlined in the Paris agreement.

“Enabling their investment will complement Government expenditures and accelerate green investment,” Xu said.

He added that the private sector could also share the financial burden for the Government in research and development by applying cutting-edge technology that was adapted to Việt Nam’s unique conditions.

“This technology will help reduce greenhouse emissions, take advantage of renewable energy and protect the environment,” he said.

MoNRE is expected to submit the final plan to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc for approval late this year.

If approved, Việt Nam’s implementation plan of the Paris Agreement will become one of the three foundation guidelines for environmental development in the country. The other two are the National Strategy on Climate Change and the Strategy on Green Growth, passed in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Financial challenges

Việt Nam is opening up to businesses and investment, but Xu warned at a press meeting on the same day that the Government should ensure businesses not only bring financial returns, but also social and environmental ones.

The business sector was a way for the Vietnamese Government to realise its development goals - for example, in climate adaptation and poverty reduction - in the context of a highly-pressured national budget with public debt nearing the red line.

Official development aid (ODA) and credit loans from lending institutions, meanwhile, are declining because Việt Nam has reached middle-income country status.

Xu also stressed the need for more efficient spending due to tightened financial resources for Việt Nam.

“Traditional ODA used to be a lot, so expenditure efficiency had never been a priority,” he said. — VNS

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