Since the government is pursuing a consistent policy not to sacrifice the environment for economic development, coal-fired thermopower projects will no longer be developed.
An alliance of social and professional organizations in the fields of rights health, environment, energy and legal rights on December 30, 2019 released a joint statement on the building of coal-fired thermopower plants in the Vietnamese territory.
The ‘Hanoi statement ‘made four proposals.
First, the government and Prime Minister will suspend the implementation of the coal-fired power projects in the attached list to reconsider and assess the financial feasibility, impacts on health, environment, security and social order of these projects.
Second, the government will offer technical and economic solutions to help settle difficulties for renewable energy projects.
|Since the government is pursuing a consistent policy not to sacrifice the environment for economic development, coal-fired thermopower projects will no longer be developed.|
Third will be enforcement of the provisions stipulated in the 2013 Constitution and related documents on grassroots democracy in consulting with people and organizations representing people in the implementation of energy projects.
Fourth, thermopower plants will compile public the data on environmental monitoring (waste water and emission) to ensure transparency and accountability.
Bui Thi An, former deputy of the 13th National Assembly, said not exchanging the environment for economic development and mitigating air pollution is the direction pursued by the Government of Vietnam.
Aware of the harm of coal-fired thermal power to the environment and people’s health, the authorities of Bac Lieu, Long An, Tien Giang provinces and Hue City have recently proposed to the government to remove the power projects in the localities and replace with clean energy sources.
An stressed that this is a legitimate proposal as everyone has the right to live in a clean environment.
However, at a conference held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in late December 2019, chair of the Vietnam Energy Association proposed the Prime Minister to instruct southern provinces not to protest against the development of coal-fired thermopower projects in their localities.
An commented that the proposal by the energy association’s chair is ‘unreasonable’. Therefore, the alliance of social and professional organizations find it necessary to release a statement to show its support to the localities.
“The pollution caused by coal-fired thermopower plants (emissions and fine dust) seriously affects people’s health. Therefore, it is necessary to check all the planned thermopower projects, give comprehensive assessments on the projects’ feasibility in finance, and impact on health, environment, security and social order.
Tran Dinh Sinh, deputy director of GreenID said GreenID in recent years repeatedly asked to check and assess the impact of thermopower projects on the environment, but the proposal was ignored. Meanwhile, there is still no reasonable policy to encourage the development of clean energy.
Experts have accused coal-fired power plants of causing air pollution in Hanoi, noting that they are emitting fine dust during operations. But operators of such plants have rejected the claim, according to local media.
LNG could replace coal in the power sector at a higher cost but would cause less pollution.