Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (centre) chaired the national COP26 steering committee meeting on Friday afternoon. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính presided over a meeting of the national COP26 Steering Committee on Friday afternoon, emphasising that green growth, energy transformation and emission reduction are inevitable, especially as Việt Nam is among the five countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Việt Nam’s favourable natural conditions for renewable energy, as well as the requirements of green standards in the European export markets, also drive the country towards green transformation.

The national COP26 Steering Committee convened three times last year. The meetings’ discussion topics included building a strategy and action plan following COP26; reviewing and updating the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); reviewing and amending policies and frameworks related to climate change response and energy transition; negotiations for the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP); and completing the National Power Development Plan VIII (PDP VIII) and the National Energy Master Plan; among other things. 

The results of these meetings are multiple projects, strategies and action plans approved by the government, such as those related to national climate change response, green growth, methane and carbon emission reduction, and sustainable forestry development. 

Leaders from the government, ministries, and departments have worked with other countries and international organisations to facilitate access to financial and technological resources, opening up opportunities for cooperation and development that aim for low-carbon growth.

Some of Việt Nam’s partners in this field include the Korean and Japanese environment ministries, the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership (ETP), and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ). 

Việt Nam also joined the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC), initiated by Japan to promote the reduction of carbon emissions and cooperation in energy transition. 

A draft of for JETP implementation project has been taking shape under the coordination of the MoNRE.

JETP was approved and announced by the Group of Seven (G7) and other countries, including Việt Nam, at a meeting in Belgium on December 14 last year. 

Through JETP, international partners can help Việt Nam in policy completion, technology transfer, and financial support, as well as attract investment to the energy sector and improve the efficiency of the electricity grid infrastructure. 

The partnership can also provide assistance in enhancing capacity in just transition through education and vocational training, increasing engagement from the private sector, developing the renewable energy centres and industries - especially offshore wind power - promoting carbon use and storage, manufacturing energy storage devices, and tapping green hydrogen production.

As head of the national steering committee, PM Chính praised the efforts of the committee’s members, as well as ministries, departments, localities and businesses in implementing Việt Nam’s commitments at COP26. 

He also pointed out the shortcomings and how to improve them, such as completing priority policies for green transformation and development, mobilising resources from society and from partners, conducting reports and enhancing officials’ knowledge on green growth. 

In the immediate future, PM Chính required the steering committee and relevant units to accelerate the tasks regarding Việt Nam’s commitments at COP26, the national strategies on climate change, green growth and the 2022 version of the NDC. 

The government also required ministries in charge of managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC), the Ministry of Construction, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to issue specific regulations on climate change responses as well as plans to reduce GHG emissions. 

The MoNRE is tasked with coordinating ministries and departments to develop official documents on carbon credit management.

The MIC will need to complete and submit a pilot programme for Direct Power Purchase Agreement (DPPA) between renewable energy producers and major energy consumers. It will also work on regulations to encourage solar power, a strategy on hydrogen production in Việt Nam, and a proposal on renewables in the amendment of the electricity law. 

The PM also assigned the finance ministry to complete the project on developing the carbon market in Việt Nam, which will be submitted to the government for approval within this month. 

The Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) will coordinate enterprises under its management to accelerate production, digital transformation, technology application and innovation to become a driving force in circular economy, green growth, and the development of new energies. 

PM Chính added that communication activities must also be enhanced to foster determination and unified action, maintaining the momentum in implementing the country’s commitments at COP26 and in just energy transition. — VNS