The heat is on – both, when we consider the devastating effects of climate change we have witnessed in the past year and when we consider how nations across the world are gearing up for the most important international climate change conference since the landmark meeting in Paris in 2015.
|By Kim Højlund Christensen Danish Ambassador to Vietnam |
That conference resulted in the global Paris accords, committing all nations to come together to fight the most pressing challenge of our time. In 2021, it is essential that we fulfil the promise of reducing emissions to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5oC from pre-industrial levels.
However, we are currently not on track. We need all countries to increase their ambitions for reducing emissions. That is why Denmark has committed to reducing emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. We believe that this is not only necessary, but also possible.
Nearly 70 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Vietnam come from energy production and consumption. Therefore, action in the energy sector is of utmost importance for a green transition. Less emphasis on coal, and ultimately a phase-out of coal, will have a substantial positive impact.
The cooperation between Denmark and Vietnam in the areas of energy and climate has been strong for many years. Denmark is keen to continue cooperation with Vietnam in handling the challenges of securing energy for continued economic growth, while also dealing with the challenge of climate change.
At the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, the developed countries promised to deliver $100 billion a year in climate finance. Denmark will provide at least $500 million annually by 2023 in grant-based climate finance. And, we are strengthening our efforts to mobilise public and private finance from other sources to reach 1 per cent of the $100 billion.
To incentivise private sector investments and response to climate change, government policies to create long-term stable frameworks firmly underpinning the green transition are paramount. This is necessary in order to encourage investments in the green economy, renewable energy generation, smart grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, and the creation of carbon markets and adaptation measures.
As a consequence of a several decade long policy focus on green transition, 3.2 per cent of Denmark’s GDP stems from green technologies, products, and services. As a small country, only responsible for 0.1 per cent of global GHG emissions, we actively pursue partnerships with other countries to work together and learn from each other in the efforts to combat climate change. We are happy that Danish solutions and technology can help us to punch above our weight in the global fight against climate change.
Choosing a development path that addresses the global challenge of climate change and paves the way for green transition will have a big impact on Vietnam’s future exports and competitiveness. Carbon border taxes will become a feature of global trade, and attracting foreign investment will increasingly depend on the availability of low-carbon production systems.
Increased ambition in renewable energy will attract more of this investment to Vietnam as international companies place more emphasis on green supply chains and green products to meet consumers’ demands as well as their own global commitments to reduce their carbon footprint. Going green is good business for Vietnam – and Denmark stands ready to support in this journey.
COP26 is a call for action to the global community to enter into the next phase of the real and decisive global action against climate change. It is essential that countries come together in the run up to COP26 to rebuild trust and restore the spirit of Paris. Denmark will do its utmost to accelerate action and raise ambitions, so that we can pass on a prosperous, just, and sustainable world to the coming generations.