On June 29, 2023, Vo Tuan Nhan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, met with Florika Fink-Hooijer, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV) in Hanoi. They discussed Viet Nam’s transition to a green and low-carbon circular economy, focusing on three key areas:
- Circular economy: Viet Nam’s national circular economy development scheme aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of GDP by 15% by 2030 compared to 2014 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This requires a green transition across all sectors, especially the electricity power industry. Nhan emphasized the importance of EU support in strengthening skills and resources to develop the national circular economy, developing technology projects and eco-friendly services, reviewing the legal framework, and consolidating the public-private dialogue on circular economy.
- Plastic pollution: Viet Nam is one of the first countries to actively support the development of an international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution. In order to join this agreement, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is working with other ministries and stakeholders to review the national legal framework and develop negotiation scenarios based on the 2016 Law on Treaties, while also considering Viet Nam’s national interests and development. The two sides discussed solutions to accelerate this progress, including:
- Developing a plastic material database to support the negotiation process by providing information for research and analysis of policies related to plastic materials;
- Sharing experiences on legal framework development; and
- Transferring plastic waste treatment and recycling technology.
- Biodiversity conservation: Viet Nam enacted the National Strategy on Biodiversity to 2030 with a vision to 2050 last year to reaffirm its determination on biodiversity and natural resource conservation. Previously, Viet Nam became a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1994 and joined the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Montreal, Canada last year to show its determination to mobilize all resources for national and global biodiversity conservation in an active manner.
Fink-Hooijer highly appreciated Viet Nam’s efforts to tackle climate change and enhance its climate change adaptation and resilience. She also affirmed that Viet Nam could count on the strong and friendly support of the EU on its pathway to green transition. In addition to the abovementioned key areas, the EU encourages Viet Nam to also seize the opportunity to boost the sustainable business model, improve livelihoods, ensure food security, and achieve its sustainability goals.