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Vietnam, US to establish climate change working group
Minh Vu 10:32, 2022/09/08
The working group will enable both sides to further combat the climate crisis, which is defined as a pillar in the relationship.

The US-Vietnam Climate Change Working Group will be launched prior to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27).

 Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and US Special Presidential Envoy to Climate John Kerry in Hanoi on September 5. Photo: VGP

The news was shared during the meeting between Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and US Special Presidential Envoy to Climate John Kerry in Hanoi during Secretary Kerry’s visit to Vietnam on September 2-6.

During the trip to Vietnam, Kerry visited Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s biggest metropolis and economic hub, and Ben Tre Province to see first-hand the climate impacts in the Mekong Delta and for bilateral climate talks with the Government of Vietnam, building on conversations that started in 2013 regarding Vietnam’s energy transition.

Secretary Kerry shared with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh the desire of the US to elevate the bilateral relationship, with cooperation on combating the climate crisis as a pillar of the relationship.

The US welcomed Vietnam’s intention to submit by COP27 its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) [a climate action plan to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts] to reflect Vietnam’s commitments at COP26 and aligned with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  

It also welcomed the efforts of Vietnam’s National Steering Committee for implementing the country’s commitments at COP26, including those to further facilitate private investment in renewable energy and transmission. 

 PM Pham Minh Chinh and Secretary John Kerry are on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021. Photo: VNA

Joint efforts for the journey ahead

PM Chinh and Secretary Kerry noted the impacts of the ongoing energy crisis and resolved to deepen investments in renewable energy, minimizing exposure to fuel price volatility, enhancing energy security, and maximizing consumer benefits.

They expected to work together intensively toward an accelerated energy transition for Vietnam and other efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in support of Vietnam’s 2050 net zero emissions goal announced at COP26 in Glasgow, and to make Vietnam a leader in the region in combating the climate crisis.

Kerry expressed his commitment to the bilateral relationship and expressed strong support for further enhanced high-level communication between the two countries in the coming months.

Chinh said climate change is a global issue, so a global approach is required. As this issue affects every person, an inclusive approach is necessary. For that reason, Vietnam calls for justice and fairness in the fight against climate change. 

“Vietnam is committed to rapid implementation of 2050 net zero emissions pledge through speeding progress toward renewable energy growth and to working closely with international partners including the United States in doing so,” Chinh noted. 

He said Vietnam calls for concrete international support in the wind and solar potential assessment, technology development and transfer, renewable energy and supporting industries development, concessional financing, human resources development, management skills, and enhancing the resilience of vulnerable communities in Vietnam, including the Mekong Delta.

Vietnam is determined to undertake the significant policy and reform efforts necessary to implement its 2050 net zero emissions commitment and to rapidly transition to an efficient and clean energy economy and phase down coal power, including by accelerating the development of large-scale renewable energy. 

Secretary Kerry said the two sides recognized the central importance of a just transition of the workforce, consistent with international best practices, and resolved to collaborate on these topics.

He expressed the US intention to catalyze global support for Vietnam’s energy transition, through technical assistance, and efforts to mobilize public and private investment, including grants and concessional loans.

Kerry also welcomed the intention of Vietnam to facilitate the connection of complete and nearly-complete renewable energy installations to Vietnam’s grid.

“The United States is committed to working with G7 countries and others to support an ambitious and just energy transition and climate change adaptation in Vietnam," Kerry said.

Vietnam expressed its resolve to finalize as soon as possible the Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8) to put the country’s power sector on a trajectory consistent with its 2050 net-zero goal, with ambitious goals for growth in renewable energy, and maximum efforts to limit further development of coal, including tens of gigawatts of additional renewable energy capacity at an affordable price, by 2030, and ensuring energy security. 

To implement PDP8, Vietnam intends to make use of its own domestic resources, along with the cooperation and financial and technical support of the US and the international community, especially from the developed countries. Key areas for technical assistance include wind and solar potential assessment, legal consultation, renewable energy and supporting industries development, human resources development, and management skills.

Vietnam is also determined to significantly increase high-voltage transmission capacity in order to support greater levels of renewable energy and to take steps toward facilitating the ability of the private sector and development finance institutions to invest in transmission while ensuring energy affordability.  

In addition, the Southeast Asian country stated its intention to implement the Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) pilot as soon as possible in order to facilitate the execution of power purchase agreements directly between renewable energy developers and power purchasers, helping to catalyze additional growth in renewable energy and the greening of Vietnam’s industrial sector.  

TAG: vietnam us climate working group COP26 net zero emission John Kerry
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