|Young volunteers planting saplings in a mudflat of a coastal mangrove forest in HCM City’s Cần Giờ District. — VNA/VNS Photo Tràng Dương
HCM CITY — HCM City is cooperating with the World Bank (WB) to implement a programme called ‘A low-carbon city development’ towards developing a domestic carbon market.
The city has been preparing steps to guide local businesses to develop emission reduction plans at the request of the Government.
The Law on Environmental Protection 2020 stipulated the development of the domestic carbon market, with an official operation roadmap from 2028. This is the latest legal basis for regulations on the organisation and development of the carbon market.
The building and operation of a domestic carbon market will help Việt Nam effectively reduce carbon emissions, and increase compatibility with international carbon pricing mechanisms.
In addition, the country will have opportunities to link with the carbon market in the Southeast Asian region and in the world.
The carbon market is a resource generation mechanism through the purchase and sale of carbon credits to promote the development and application of low-emission technologies toward a carbon-neutral economy.
In HCM City, Korean firm KMDK has worked with the city to implement a project of trading targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at Đông Thạnh landfill in Hóc Môn District since 2010.
Instead of conducting emission reduction projects in their own countries, developed countries can help developing countries reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The volume of emissions reduced from this cooperation is included in the emission reduction target of that developed country.
In contrast, developed countries pay an amount to developing countries upon an agreement.
According to this plan, KMDK will implement a project to reduce emissions and pay the city about US$3 million.
Due to the financial difficulties of KMDK, the project was not implemented. However, the investment in emission reduction at landfills in the city is still considered to have great potential in emission reduction activities.
Phùng Chí Sỹ, vice president of Việt Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment, said the field of land use, land use purpose change and forestry fields have the potential to reduce emissions by up to 9.3 million tonnes of CO2.
In addition, afforestation projects, projects under the clean development mechanism, or Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) also have the potential to generate carbon credits for attracting investors.
Forest carbon credits, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the fight against deforestation and forest degradation, and sustainable management of forest resources are being seen as new resources for the country in general and the city’s Cần Giờ District in particular.
The mangrove area in Cần Giờ Biosphere Reserve has a total area of 75,740 hectares. It is divided into three parts, including a 41,139ha buffer zone, which has great potential if it participates in carbon credit exchange.
Bùi Nguyễn Thế Kiệt from the Protective Forest Management Board of Cần Giờ District, said the Cần Giờ mangrove forest can absorb nearly 11 million tonnes of CO2 per hectare and provide about eight million tonnes of O2 per hectare.
It accumulates about three million tonnes of CO2 per hectare and has a CO2 exchange value of about $77 million per hectare per year.
Việt Nam made a strong commitment at the United Nations Climate Change Summit in 2021 (COP26) that it will reduce its net emissions to zero by 2050.
The Vietnamese Government has issued a decree on reducing emissions and light greenhouse gas emissions, and protecting the ozone layer.
It has also issued a decision on the list of industries, sub-industries and establishments that must check how much greenhouse gas they produce.
It issued these decrees to manifest its dogged determination to reduce greenhouse gases.
However, the country is facing huge technical challenges to operate in the carbon market because there is not much time to implement the international commitments.
Nguyễn Hồng Quân, head of the Research and Development Institute of Circular Economy of Việt Nam National University-HCM City (VNU-HCM), said the city needs to have a specific assessment of what fields can be deployed for carbon capture to promote the development of the carbon market.
The Cần Giờ forest, agricultural activities, and waste treatment are examples, he said.
After the overall study and assessment, priority areas must be identified to call for cooperation in implementation.
Support mechanisms and policies also need to be based on the potential of each project group.
The city can ask the central government for a specific mechanism to develop a carbon market, he said.
With its potential, the city can not only sell but also buy carbon credits in other countries, he added.
Businesses need to grasp information and carefully prepare to join the market through capacity building in greenhouse gas inventory activities.
Local state management agencies need to promote awareness-raising activities so that establishments and enterprises develop technology for participation as well as complete policies to support and encourage enterprises to participate in the domestic carbon market.
The country also needs to issue regulations on activities to connect and exchange domestic carbon credits with regional and global carbon markets.
At the seminar on "Low-carbon development" recently organised by the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment in collaboration with the WB, the municipal People's Committee vice chairman Võ Văn Hoan said there are 140 large establishments in the city operating in the fields of energy, construction, industry and trade.
Therefore, the city needs to check how much greenhouse gases are emitted.
The low-carbon urban plan in the city includes activities, recommendations and action proposals needed to achieve the city's development goal of low carbon emissions.
This can be considered a good signal for the city in the field of environmental protection this year. — VNS