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Vietnamese youth acts against climate change ahead of COP27
Minh Vu 07:53, 2022/11/02
Initiatives raised by Vietnamese young people will be added to the Global Youth Statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to take place in Egypt in November.

Vietnamese young people have launched a special report to provide outstanding good practices of meaningful climate action to join global efforts against climate change, demonstrating Vietnam’s engagement in the shared drive.

 

Entitled “Youth for Climate Action in Vietnam 2022”, the report, the second of its kind after the first launched in 2021, co-written by 24 young authors from all over Vietnam, is expected to contribute a significant part to the Global Youth Statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) to take place in Egypt in November.

This year’s report contained four key themes, including youth in climate policy and decision-making processes, accelerating the transition towards the circular economy, climate mitigation towards net zero, and climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

This second Special Report was introduced to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres last week at the Youth Policy Dialogue organized during his official visit to Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the first Special Report was presented to COP26 President Alok Sharma and Vietnam’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MONRE) in May 2021. It clearly shows the power of youth and the interest of leaders and policymakers in listening to them.

The authors documented and tracked more than 130 youth-led climate initiatives and projects that were outstanding good practices of meaningful climate action. They also identified several priority accelerators moving forward, including establishing a Youth Climate Policy Working Group, education and capacity-building programs on climate change, and financial and technical support for youth-led projects.

According to the Special Report, youth face two key obstacles: financial limitations and a lack of technical knowledge and skills. The report also recommends accelerators, such as developing a climate financing hub for youth, promoting the role of youth in climate governance and diplomacy, and creating a set of specialized publications for youth.

 Ramla Al Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, speaks at the event. 

Broader engagement

At the launching ceremony held in Hanoi on November 1, the youth also presented their statement in which they called on the Government to prioritize investment in renewable power plants; establish the roadmap to phase out fossil fuel by 2030; restrict financial institutions from investing in high emission projects; and minimize the use of single-use plastic products to eliminate these products entirely by 2030.

Young people suggested local governments and stakeholders engage youth in organizing communication and awareness-raising campaigns on climate change, promoting green lifestyles and resilient climate action.

Furthermore, young people also urged the Government to create an enabling legal framework and basis to support individuals, initiators, movements, and youth organizations to take climate action, particularly empowering efforts by youth minorities, marginalized groups, and those directly affected by climate change.

Most importantly, young people recommend the priority to establish a working group on youth and climate policy to represent youth voices at national and international policy forums.

Supporting the report's launch, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) highlighted the role of youth in climate action, calling for all development partners to join hands “to facilitate and advance an environment in which youth can rise to occupy their roles as agents of change fully.”

Addressing the event, Ramla Al Khalidi, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, said: “We pledge to support the Vietnamese youth, to ensure their concerns and ideas are heard, and to continue working with the youth to leverage their creativity to boost climate action. It is not only our interest but also our obligation to ensure that the youth and future generations can live in a just, green, and resilient future.”

As a partner in the launch of the report, the Department of Climate Change (DCC) under Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) said the document presented the role and opportunities of young people in participating in research, and policy-making as well as addressing challenges and solutions.

“The launch of the Special Report of Vietnamese Youth Action for Climate 2022, which takes place before COP27, has a very important meaning, contributing to the voice of Vietnamese youth in response to global climate actions,” said Tang The Cuong, Director of the Department of Climate Change.

He called on agencies and organizations to create more conditions for the Vietnamese youth to participate and contribute to the nation's efforts to respond to climate change to accelerate the achievement of the net zero emissions target by 2050.

“Vietnamese youth have taken climate actions and will continue to do more, not only by proactively linking all the many social resources to work together to respond to climate change, but also by lending a louder voice at the local, regional, and global forums,” said Nguyen Van Bao, the report’s lead author.

“We consider climate change to be a threat to existence but also serves as a catalyst for creativity and action toward a sustainable future,” he added.

 Tang The Cuong, Director of the Department of Climate Change, MONRE, addresses the issues. 

Contributing to the common efforts, a group of young people in Hanoi have taken action and participated in different activities for climate action, namely Nguyen Tran Ngoc Mai, Tran Thu Giang, Chu Le Minh Duong, and Nguyen Linh.

These students contributed measures for climate action, such as sorting waste, reducing the use of single-use plastic, carrying their personal water bottles instead of using plastic bottles, calling for people not to drop balloons on the first day of the new school year as balloons are plastic and contain gases harmful to the environment.

In addition, they have paid for durable, beautiful, and fashionable products that can be reused because the fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world.   

They also shared environmental posts on social networks to disseminate environmental protection issues, therefore helping raise awareness of climate change.

Meanwhile, MGreen, a social enterprise in Tay Ho District, Hanoi, applies information technology to build civilized consciousness and classify waste at source, according to the company’s representative Tran Thi Thoa.  

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