Clean energy transition needed for growth and resilient, prosperous future: COP26 president

August 29, 2022 - 17:30
The COP26 president said an energy transition not only delivers enhanced climate action, but also helps create jobs, economic growth, clean air, and a resilient, prosperous future.

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Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (right) receives Alok Sharma, President of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), during his third visit to the country on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

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HÀ NỘI — The President of the COP26 held high-level discussions with Vietnamese government leaders on Monday, on climate change response, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, net-zero commitments and the establishment of an energy partnership.

Alok Sharma, President of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), is visiting Việt Nam to discuss energy transition and climate change impact mitigation with State leaders.

Meeting with Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, Sharma expressed his high regard for the country’s commitments at COP26 and the actions taken to realise these responsibilities. 

Sharma said he would work with other countries, international organisations and the United Nations to help Việt Nam execute its commitments in just energy transition. 

PM Chính agreed that climate change is an issue that affects the global population as a whole, and therefore needs a global approach. 

Việt Nam as a developing country needs an appropriate plan and the support from developed nations and financial partners in human resources training, science and technology management, and developing comprehensive frameworks, he added. 

PM Chính said that the country also has tremendous potential in terms of wind and solar energy and sees this as a certain area for development, and asked the United Kingdom and the international community to help provide accurate assessment on this potential. 

Việt Nam is also encouraging investors in the field of wind and solar energy. However, prices for electricity generated from these sources need to be suitable and affordable for the Vietnamese. 

The COP26 president said he would convey the PM’s message on equality and fairness in energy transition and climate change mitigation to development partners, and hoped that the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) would be approved in COP27 in Egypt at the end of the year.

National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ (right) receives Alok Sharma, President of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Hà Nội on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

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Speaking to Sharma on his third visit to Việt Nam on the same day, National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vương Đình Huệ welcomed discussions on cooperation to respond to climate change, and on establishing JETP between Việt Nam and development partners.

During this trip, the COP26 president also worked with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà and the ministry’s units on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, net-zero commitments, and the National Power Development Plan VIII.

Sharma said: “The proposed Just Energy Transition Partnership provides an excellent opportunity for Việt Nam to accelerate its transition away from coal in delivery of its 2050 net-zero targets.

“I am pleased to be back in Việt Nam to engage with government ministers, public sector bodies, business leaders, local communities, and civil society to discuss ways we can work together for effective climate action.

“A clean, just energy transition not only delivers enhanced climate action, but it will also help create new jobs, economic growth, clean air, and a resilient, prosperous future.”

The COP26 president added that energy security is a common concern for many countries, especially in today’s context when all nations are striving to meet the demands to maintain socio-economic activities, as well as people's lives.

Several countries in the European Union have also issued new policies to respond to the energy crisis, which aim to address current needs and promote the transition to renewables.

Việt Nam needs to make progress in reducing coal power as soon as possible, as this will bring benefits not only in terms of the environment but also to the economy.

Sharma also urged the country to bring forward a revised 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), aligned with its 2050 net zero targets.

NA Chairman Huệ said that as a country heavily affected by climate change, Việt Nam is highly aware of the steps to be taken to adapt and mitigate the negative impacts of the phenomenon.

The Vietnamese government has approved the proposal on the missions and tasks to be implemented following COP26, the National Strategy on Climate Change to 2050, the Action plan to reduce methane emissions by 2030, and the Action plan on green energy transition and reducing carbon and methane emissions in transportation.

The NA Chairman also asked that G20 and G7 countries share their experience in shifting to and producing green and clean energy sources.

“Energy transition is a difficult problem, and therefore support from the international community is very much needed," said Huệ.

“We need to have thorough, open, fair and objective exchanges, strengthening trust and mutual understanding to find a common voice in order to move forward.”

Speaking about Việt Nam’s COP26 commitments, the NA chairman said: “The Vietnamese National Assembly and Government will hold in-depth discussions on the matter, and attach great importance to the energy transition progress.

“We now have action plans and are designing legal frameworks, plans, allocation of national resources and monitoring the implementation process for the sustainable development goals of the country.” — VNS