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Oct 31, 2021 / 16:30

PM affirms commitments to global response to climate change

Vietnam pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9% by 2030 with domestic resources and could be increased up to 27% with international support.

A delegation led by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh today [Oct 31] left Hanoi for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK until November 3, as part of Vietnam’s efforts to contribute to the global pressing issues. 

Attending COP26 will be more than 30,000 participants, including over 100 state leaders and UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Prime Minister Chinh is expected to continue spreading messages about climate impact and Vietnam’s proactive response to climate change.

The visit is also an opportunity for Vietnam to seek financial and technological support in strengthening its climate adaptation capacity.

 Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Oct 31 leaves for COP26. Photo: VGP 

A responsible member of the international community

Vietnam has shown that it’s a responsible member of the international through its commitments to climate goals and macroeconomic policies that fuel climate adaptation in the country.

The Prime Minister's participation also marks Vietnam's efforts in realizing its future climate strategies in the face of post-Covid recovery.

Being one of the most dynamic economies in Asia-Pacific and an emerging manufacturing hub, Vietnam is conducting flexible policies to draw investment inflows and the shifting of the supply chain.

The PM is expected to attend the opening session and speak at the leaders’ speech session. In addition, he will have a series of meetings with leaders of a number of countries namely China, Japan, India, Italy, Germany, the UK, the US, and international organizations like the World Bank, Global Environment Fund (GEF), Global Climate Fund (GCF) during his stay in the UK.

Notably, Vietnam has prepared for the Prime Minister's visit to Glasgow, the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom. On September 30, PM Chinh met with British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward to discuss the bilateral relations and the COP26.

During the meeting, Chinh pledged to support and coordinate with the UK to contribute to the success of the conference and show Vietnam’s responsible response to the international issues.

Prior to COP26, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha also worked with Gareth Ward to discuss Vietnam’s path to the conference.

In the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that highlights climate actions, including climate-related targets, policies and measures, Vietnam aim to take actions in response to climate change. The country identifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction pathway in the 2021-2030 period.

With domestic resources, GHG emissions will be reduced by 9% by 2030 compared to the Business as Usual scenario (BAU). The above-mentioned contribution could be increased up to 27% with international support, equivalent to 250.8 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2eq).

Vietnam submitted its updated NDC on September 11, 2020, becoming the 12th country doing so in 2020. Vietnam promoted its mitigation and adaptation contributions, noting co-benefits and synergies with the SDGs, and provided information on implementation impacts and progress.

The UK is Vietnam’s third-largest trade partner in the EU, behind Germany and the Netherlands. In 2019, the two-way trade reached US$6.6 billion. In 2011-2019, the trade growth rate was 12.1% on average, higher than Vietnam’s annual rate of 10%.

Strengthening relations with France

Shortly after COP26, PM Chinh will fly for an official visit to France on November 3-5, one of Vietnam’s strategic partners and the biggest donor, the 2nd largest investor, and the fourth largest trade partners of Vietnam in the European Union (EU).

In 2020, the two-way trade hit US$4.8 billion, down 10% from 2019.

As of July 2021, France ranked third among European countries and the 16th largest investor in Vietnam, with 605 projects with total registered capital of $3.6 billion.

This is the 1st official European visit taken since Chinh took the office in early 2021, boosting the bilateral relations to make it more substantive and effective. It’s also the first leader visit of both countries since 2019, French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery told media on Oct 29.

Chinh will have a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Jean Castex, and President of the National Assembly (Assemblée nationale) Richard Ferrand.

“We not only want to strengthen the strategic partnership with Vietnam but also concretize the cooperation activities, with specific projects,” the ambassador said.

Nicolas Warnery revealed that, within the visit, the French Development Agency (AFD) will sign with the Vietnamese side three funding projects, including the Hoa Binh Hydropower Expansion project, the flood control project in Dien Bien Phu, and the national grid project for solar power.

Along with that, the two sides are urgently negotiating to sign a coastal erosion prevention project in the southern province of Ca Mau.

Cooperation in education and post-Covid healthcare will be included in the visit. The Vietnamese PM is scheduled to visit the first Pasteur Institute in the world.

In addition to fields of traditional cooperation, French companies are seeking investment in clean energy and aviation and space in Vietnam. “France’s TotalEnergies expects to proceed with concrete projects in Vietnam,” Warnery said.