|Danish Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen. — Photo courtesy Embassy of Denmark|
Việt Nam News reporter Nguyễn Hằng interviews Danish Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen about the first-ever P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 – global summit in Copenhagen in October 19-20 with the attendance of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, as well as the role of Việt Nam in the initiative as one of the founding member countries.
** P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 – is a global initiative with the ambition of becoming the world’s leading forum for developing concrete public-private partnerships at scale to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. P4G was established last year, with initial funding over five years from Denmark. The initiative was created with international partners, including Chile, Denmark, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Republic of Korea, Mexico and Việt Nam.
Việt Nam launched its P4G national platform on July 5, 2018, which demonstrated the Vietnamese Government’s commitment on delivering P4G’s targets. Could you please share with us your comments on Việt Nam’s work and tasks the Vietnamese Government should do to effectively implement the P4G’s targets?
Since 2012, Việt Nam actively attended 3GF (Global Green Growth Forum) of which it became a core member–in 2015. And 3GF is a predecessor and now we have P4G, which aims to promote green growth transition through public-private partnerships. I would say, that is a strong background and because of the history that we shared, Việt Nam was also one of the founding member countries of the P4G, which was launched last year.
Việt Nam is a strong partner for us. The country has established its own P4G national platform this July and I think there is a public-private element in the national platform. So there is a sound basis for carrying out the P4G agenda here.
There are many options that the Government of Việt Nam could consider to effectively implement the P4G targets but I would highlight one or two options. It would be very good if ministries and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the platform because it will help to facilitate and assist the widening of the P4G agenda. That could be one thing.
The other thing is that the Vietnamese national platform should continue expanding its co-operation with the global hub of P4G because new ideas and good things carried out in Việt Nam would be fed into the global P4G system at the same time that the national platform can tap from the global hub. Ideas and resources from the global level, from other countries might be useful here in Việt Nam.
Finally, I would say that Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc will participate in the summit, events and seminars in Copenhagen on October 19-20, which is very positive and is one of the ways to strengthen the relationship between Việt Nam and other P4G founding member countries.
P4G is a new initiative of the Government of Denmark, through which Việt Nam has been actively engaged in advocating the green growth transition and scaling market-driven partnership. In your opinion, what’s the role of Việt Nam so far? In other words, how has Việt Nam contributed to implement the initiative?
Việt Nam has already had its own green growth initiatives for years. Since the establishment of P4G last year, Việt Nam had already hosted the P4G regional roundtable meeting and that is a positive thing.
The national platform that was formed in July of this year is a very specific step in order to achieve what we are trying to do with the P4G.
Additionally, Prime Minister Phúc will come to the summit in Copenhagen and deliver a keynote speech in the high-level session. It is also an important contribution.
Two initiatives coming from Việt Nam out of only 11 projects in total will gain an award of US$100,000 in the P4G global summit. It’s a very strong signal that shows the potential for the green transition for both local and foreign investors in this country.
Increased urbanisation is predicted to trigger an enormous demand for new sustainable solutions. Developing countries like Việt Nam will continue witnessing a non-stop influx of people from rural areas to big cities like Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng and HCM City. Based on its comprehensive partnership with Việt Nam, what will Denmark do to support the big cities to discover new sustainable solutions?
It’s a big task ahead to deal with the migration from rural areas into the cities that is becoming bigger and bigger. We can see the same problem in many countries. In Việt Nam, if we look at infrastructure, water, waste, transportation and clean air, all of them are pushed to the limit.
Denmark has a long history of addressing these issues. As you know, Copenhagen is considered one of the most liveable cities in the world. It is not only because of city planning and initiatives taken by the Danish Government but also because of the innovative solutions suggested by companies and enterprises on how to do things better and smarter. Everybody is talking about smart cities because that is something we need. The Danish Government and authorities - both at the local and national levels on one hand and companies, on the other hand, have joined forces to create the solutions that we need.
Looking at the situation in Việt Nam, the country continues to grow very fast. Although Denmark’s focus on Việt Nam’s issues has been shifted in recent years, we are still here and we bring in experts of city planning and city solutions to help the big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City find new sustainable solutions.
Issues of water, waste management and renewable energy will still be high on the agenda and one of Denmark’s focus areas in Việt Nam for the future.
Việt Nam is expected to have two initiatives receiving an award of US$100,000 each in the P4G global summit. What do you think about Việt Nam’s starts-up focusing on environmental protection?
Eco-minded or ecological start-ups will help to showcase green efforts and inspire others to take action. These ideas are now fed into the global hub and then they can be duplicated in other countries. It also inspires the local administration to take action on environment protection in Việt Nam.
Basically, it addresses the environmental concerns that people have when living in cities and rural areas, such as saving electricity, water or waste reduction, management or collection.
Most starts-up are doing fantastic work as pioneers for green solutions aiming to solve pressing environment challenges that we have all over the world. All countries have environmental challenges. And P4G is a good platform because we have here a global hub that can spread the ideas to other countries that are interested in the same solutions.
The first ever P4G summit will be held in Copenhagen in October 19 and 20. How do you expect the outcomes of the summit to which Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc will also present?
I hope that the summit will encourage all participants, not only in Việt Nam, to establish a partnership with each country’s private sector so that we can accelerate the partnerships promoting green growth.
I also expect that the summit’s participants can co-operate in identifying and incubating the most innovative public-private partnerships. — VNS