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May 29, 2021 / 22:18

Vietnam youth submits climate action for COP26

Vietnamese young representatives address bottlenecks that are incorporated into a roadmap for COP26.

Vietnamese youth has submitted a Special Report entitled “Youth for Climate Action in Vietnam” in the dialogue with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) President-Designate Alok Sharma in Hanoi on May 29.

 Representatives at the launching ceremony of the report on May 29. Photos: UNDP Vietnam

The dialogue, which spotlighted UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen, COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma, representatives of the British Embassy in Hanoi, the Italian Embassy in Hanoi, and more than youth representatives in Vietnam.

It offered the unique opportunity for youth representatives to share their views on climate change and discuss actions to advance the youth agenda in the lead up to the upcoming Global Youth Summit in Milan, Italy in September 2021 and the COP26 in Glasgow, UK in November 2021.

Co-written by 20 young authors from diverse backgrounds, representing approximately 900 youth across Vietnam, the report, which is as part of the UNDP Global Programme ‘Climate Promise’, addresses four major bottlenecks in undertaking climate action namely (1) financial constraints; (2) lack of support from stakeholders; (3) skills limitations; and (4) technological limitations.

To unblock these bottlenecks, the report recommends ten accelerators, which include: (1) establishing a youth network for climate, and (2) launching a climate learning hub. These accelerators were incorporated into a roadmap towards COP26 and action goals for the 2022-2025 period to enhance the contribution from the youth to Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

 UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen. 

The youth representatives that participated in the dialogue also proposed innovative ways to strengthen youth’s role in the national and international climate agenda. Key discussion points also included Vietnamese youth’s mobilization for COP26 and beyond as part of the global momentum-building “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambitions” program.

Addressing the dialogue that was hosted by UNDP and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), Caitlin Wiesen said “Youth are a powerhouse of passion creativity and innovation. As recommended in the youth report we invite all partners to join in aligning programs and mechanisms to accelerate an enabling environment where youth can fully assume their role as agents of change for climate action.”

“Responding to climate change requires the efforts of all ministries, sectors, local agencies, businesses, individuals and communities, among which the youth plays an essential role. Every action, even the smallest, has an immense impact, contributing to changing awareness and creating motivation for the participation of the whole society,” said Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General of MONRE’s Department of Climate Change (DCC).

The COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma. 

The COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma sent a message to Vietnamese youth “This is a passionate report which speaks from the heart of youth, sets out some very clear ideas what we ought to be doing together to tackle climate change. The future does indeed belong to young people around the world. That’s why it’s vital that your voice is heard loud and clear. This report is also one which speaks with passion – the passion of youth. Whatever policies world leaders come up with, whatever plan they have, they must always think of the planet first. Frankly that’s also the message that comes through your report. It is the report that says pick the planet.”

Hoang Ngoc Xuan Mai who is a lead author of the report, shared “The co-authors and I are more excited than ever to push through the bottlenecks and enhance youth climate action in Vietnam. We see climate change not only as an existential threat, but also as an accelerator for innovations.
“We invite everyone, no matter how old they are, to read the report and take bold actions for the planet.”

Khang A Tua, a Hmong youth climate leader who participated in the roundtable said “Through discussions with stakeholders, we would like to affirm the importance of mobilizing youth from every corner to respond to climate change in Vietnam with the right policies and capacity-building tools. As a first step, I am excited to see climate policy-makers, both national and global, willing to cooperate with young people in climate action.”

So far, the youth groups have succeeded in launching an independent youth climate network and are currently developing a Youth4Climate Learning Hub with the support of UNDP Vietnam. Looking ahead, they are excited to participate in the Youth for Climate Innovation Contest to raise ambition for COP26 this year.