Following the net-zero announcement that was made by Vietnam´s Prime Minister during COP26, MONRE took steps to prepare for the adjustment of climate policy planning towards this new target. Technical workshops were convened to discuss the situation and required realignment of processes and methodologies, and a high-level conference was conducted by MONRE to present the COP26 Outcome to the Development Partners working in Vietnam.
Representatives of bilateral and multilateral donors congratulated Vietnam to the bold commitments, and reaffirmed their commitments to support the Government of Vietnam on their pathway towards net-zero.
Referring to climate change as one of the biggest challenges alive, MONRE Minister Tran Hong Ha pointed out the huge political will and climate leadership which is underpinned by Vietnam’s net-zero announcement, as well as other breakthrough commitments made by the Government of Vietnam during COP26. He mentioned that institutionalizing these commitments by revising the respective policies was decisive, and Vietnam hoped to receive support by the international community for this work as well as technology transfer and finance for implementation. Thereby, climate adaptation would need to be considered to the same extent as mitigation.
Gareth Ward, Ambassador of the UK and holding the COP26 Presidency, said he was “inspired by the political leadership Vietnam has taken”. Similar as many other Ambassadors who spoke after him, he affirmed continuous support for the implementation of the net-zero pathway. The German Embassy was also represented, highlighting the long-standing track record of cooperation through various IKI project, as well as the cooperation development portfolio on sustainable energy, increased resilience in the Mekong Delta, and protection of forests and biodiversity, just to mention few. The German Vice Ambassador said Germany stands ready to continue supporting the set-up of Vietnam’s legal and institutional climate change framework, as well as implementing ambitious climate action.
The Deputy Director General of the Department of Climate Change, Mr. Pham Van Tan, in his presentation about the major COP26 outcomes also touched upon the challenges the Government of Vietnam is facing on the avenue towards net-zero. Currently, a coherent approach to the new target is still lacking, and more work needs to be spent on institutions, policies and technologies that might make the transition happen. He pointed out that national resources are insufficient to deliver, and that huge capacity building needs exist. Also, he called for a change of mindsets of economic actors towards a long-term perspective, that considers costs of climate change-related risks that are not yet internalized in financial assessments. Such deliberations should be embedded within an investment framework for low-carbon and climate-resilient growth.
MONRE has already prepared a roadmap for implementation, including among others includes the operationalization of the Law on Environmental Protection of 2020, and the Decree on mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and protection of the ozone layer, as well as other policies. “This is an important legal basis for mobilizing the entire population to respond to climate change”, Minister Tran Hong Ha emphasized. As one of the next steps, work shall resume on the National Climate Change Strategy to 2050, reflecting the new net-zero target. In parallel, first institutional improvements shall be arranged, and proper coordination mechanisms shall be discussed among climate change stakeholders.