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Gas emitting factories in four provinces will have to pay up

Update: August, 08/2019 - 08:44
A mangrove forests along Tam Giang lagoon in Quảng Lợi commune in Thừa Thiên- Huế Province’s Quảng Điền District. Thừa Thiên-Huế is one of four provinces chosen for a pilot payment plan if they release too much gas into the environment.— VNA/VNS Photo Hồ Cầu

HÀ NỘI — Factories which omit too much carbon dioxide waste will have to pay fees under a new pilot scheme in four provinces.

The plan was passed during a conference held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

The idea is for the next two years, 20 factories in Quảng Ninh, Thanh Hóa, Quảng Nam and Thừa Thiên- Huế will be under close watch and if they omit too much gas into the atmosphere they will be charged.

After approval from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development detail plans to put the programme into play.

Twenty production facilities that have large greenhouse gas emissions, including nine thermo-power facilities and 11 cement production businesses.

It also stipulates the level of payment for production units engaged in thermal power trading with VNĐ4  per 1 kWh (equivalent to US$2 per 1 tonne of carbon dioxide) and VNĐ2,100 per 1 tonne of clinker (equivalent to $1.35 per 1 tonne of carbon dioxide) for those engaged in cement production and trading.

According to Nguyễn Văn Vũ, head of Finance and Planning Department under Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VAF), the payment is lower than the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility pledge to pay for emission reduction efforts in North Central Region which equals to $5 per tonne of carbon dioxide.

This level of payment would increase the electricity’s production cost as well as the factories’ cement production cost by 0.29 per cent, he said, adding the price hike is still within the predicted rise of actual cost of the cement manufacturing sector – between 0.3-1 per cent per year, he said.

It was expected the four provinces would collect about VNĐ172 billion ($7.4 million) a year. Of these, Quang Ninh gained VNĐ123 billion while Thanh Hóa, Thừa Thiên- Huế and Quảng Nam obtained VNĐ41 billion, VNĐ6 billion and VNĐ2 billion, respectively, Vũ said.

These were significant sources of income for forest planting and protection at localities, especially for Quảng Ninh Province where the collection of forest environmental service fee was very low - only about VNĐ4 billion per year.

The pilot implementation will take place from beginning of next year and finish by the end of 2021.

Nguyễn Đức Sơn, deputy director of Đông Triều Thermal Power Company said the company supported the trial because thermal power emitted large greenhouse gas emissions. However, in the context of increasingly fierce competition, this cost must be included in the electricity price and a plan is needed for enterprises to implement, he said.

Sơn’s opinion was shared by Lê Trí Thanh, deputy chairman of Quảng Nam Province’s People Committee.

Thanh said priority should be given to owners of forests which were close to the factories.

He also said the implementation should not affect the production plan of enterprises next year.

Addressing the conference, Hà Công Tuấn, deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said as Việt Nam has been adopting measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop green economy, the payment of forest environment fee for absorption and retaining of forest carbon, gradually forming the carbon dioxide emission market was an evitable trend.

Tuấn asked the VAF to collect comments from enterprises and localities so that the ministry would complete the document and submit to the Prime Minister in October this year.

The draft decision should clarify the scope of the application of the decision and the reason why it applied only to the two sectors – thermal power and cement production, he said.

The foundation for determining service prices, payment to service providers should also be made clear to ensure legitimate interests of participating enterprises, Tuấn said. — VNS



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