HCM City to have new climate change response plan

Ho Chi Minh City is making a climate change response plan for 2020 – 2030 with the support of international organisations, focused on mitigation and adaptation measures.

Vehicles wade through floodwater caused by tidal surges on An Binh street in District 5, HCM City, in October 2018

At a workshop on July 16, Assoc. Prof. Dr MaiTuan Anh, head of the hydrometeorology and climate change division at themunicipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said according to astudy conducted by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Germany’sNewClimate Institute and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy,suitable climate change response policies in cities will help the world savebillions of dollars annually.

For example, energy saving policies can cuthouseholds’ expenses as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, policieson developing public transportation will help city dwellers minimise theirexposure to polluted air and reduce premature deaths from diseases and trafficaccidents.

Anh said facing the increasingly complexdevelopments and serious impacts of climate change, Ho Chi Minh City has beentaking numerous measures to cope with this global phenomenon with help frominternational organisations like the C40 and the Japan InternationalCooperation Agency (JICA).

Within C40 cooperation, the city wrote a lettershowing its commitment to climate change response efforts, he added.

Assoc. Prof. Dr Ho Quoc Bang, Director of thecentre for air pollution and climate change studies at the Institute forEnvironment and Resources under the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi MinhCity, said the city built a plan for climate change response in 2013 andupdated this plan in 2017. The one for the 2020 – 2030 is being drafted withthe support of international organisations.

At the workshop, Joselito Guevarra, head ofclimate action planning in Southeast Asia at the C40, said his organisation isassisting Ho Chi Minh City to make an action plan for climate change response.The city aims to finalise this plan by December 2020.

He went on to say that Southeast Asia is one ofthe world’s fastest growing regions in terms of urban growth and population.Four of the countries most vulnerable to climate change are located in thisregion, namely Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Climate changeimpacts may pose serious threats to food security in the region, especiallyrice and cereal output.

Guevarra added the C40 is working with fiveSoutheast Asian cities (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur andQuezon) through climate action plans, building capacity for implementing theseplans in the long term, taking transformative climate actions by reducing gasemissions from buildings and transport activities, stepping up energyproduction, boosting waste management and promoting climate change adaptation.

At the event, Bang pointed out that about 20projects on climate change response have been implemented in Ho Chi Minh City,but they have yet to meet expectations due to financial problems and thelimited capacity of staff.

Ho Chi Minh City has been severely affected byclimate change as seen through abnormal torrential rains or scorching heat,which have harmed local residents’ health.

To ensure an effective response to climatechange, Bang proposed the city focus on adaptation solutions; make plans forthe rational use of land, water and energy resources and for waste treatment;develop public transport means using energy-saving and eco-friendlytechnologies; and expand green spaces.

According to Nguyen Trong Nghia, an energy andplanning expert from RCEE – NIRAS – the company the C40 chose to give advice onHo Chi Minh City’s plan making, the city considers climate change response atask for all of society. It has identified 10 priority fields for climatechange response, namely urban planning, energy, transportation, industry, watermanagement, waste management, construction, healthcare, agriculture andtourism. -VNA

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