Encouraging green growth strategies for Vietnam’s industries

November 03, 2021 | 11:03
The transition to net zero and a green economy would yield great rewards in climate and sustainability terms. Nguyen Chi Dung, Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment, explains how relevant local authorities can work collaboratively to turn the National Green Growth Strategy into action.
Nguyen Chi Dung, Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment
Nguyen Chi Dung, Vietnam’s Minister of Planning and Investment

As the pandemic drags on, the global economy is particularly vulnerable. Building a future delivering green growth, sustainability, and inclusivity has become an inevitable trend and a goal that all countries are aiming for, especially for those heavily affected by climate change.

Vietnam is one of the countries most affected by climate change, natural disasters, public health challenges, and other external factors. However, the country is also continuing the momentum of innovation, accelerating the transformation of the growth model, promoting quality and efficiency, and doing its best to recover from the pandemic.

With that in mind, the prime minister last month approved the National Green Growth Strategy for the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050, with ambitious goals to push Vietnam’s sustainable development to greater heights.

The strategy was officially launched just before the United Nations’ COP26 in Glasgow, once again highlighting Vietnam’s strong commitment via practical actions on localising greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets in harmony with sustainable development goals, and restructuring the economy in association with model innovation growth and social justice.

Green growth is an important method for sustainable development, directly contributing to the reduction of emissions towards being a carbon-neutral economy in the long term.

Under the strategy, we could limit economic sectors that generate large amounts of waste and cause environmental pollution and degradation, as well as create conditions for the development of new green production industries. Furthermore, we aim to promote the fast development of green economic sectors to create more jobs, increase incomes, and enrich natural capital.

Businesses are also encouraged to focus on the application of green technologies, best-practice management and monitoring systems for production activities to save natural resources, reducing GHG emissions, and improving the ecological environment.

One of the key themes in the prime minister’s decision is that Vietnam recognises green growth as an essential approach to ensure sustainable development and improve the quality of people’s lives, leaving no-one behind.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment proudly acts as the national focal agency for green growth, and be responsible for presiding over, coordinating, and supporting line ministries, people’s committees, and relevant agencies in implementing the strategy.

The ministry would also assume the prime responsibility for and coordinate with relevant line ministries in balancing, mobilising, and coordinating domestic and foreign resources, and climate finance. It can also identify key green growth tasks and projects in each specific period and submit them to the prime minister for consideration and decision.

There are some specific objectives in terms of reducing the intensity of GHG emissions per unit of GDP. For targets towards 2030, Vietnam is set to reduce the intensity of emissions per unit of GDP by at least 15 per cent compared to 2014. Towards 2050, we aim to reduce the intensity by at least 30 per cent compared to 2014.

More specifically, some key targets towards 2030 might be noted, such as primary energy consumption per unit of GDP during 2021-2030 period to reduce by 1-1.5 per cent per year; the proportion of renewable energy over the total primary energy supply to reach 15-20 per cent; the digital economy aiming to reach 30 per cent of GDP; the proportion of forest coverage to be stabilised at 42 per cent; and at least 30 per cent of the total irrigated upland crop area to adopt advanced, water-saving irrigation methods.

All industries are encouraged to implement a circular economic model and digital transformation to improve growth quality, promote competitive advantages, and minimise adverse environmental impacts. On the other hand, under the scheme, people’s quality of life and resilience capacity towards climate change would be increased.

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