The seminar titled “Responding to climate change for sustainable development: the role of the business community” took place today in Hanoi with the participation of more then a hundred representatives from enterprises and relevant ministries.
|The business community plays an important role in prevention and fighting against climate change |
Addressing the seminar, Le Xuan Dinh, editor-in-chief of Economy and Forecast Review under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said that over the last 50 years, the average temperature in Vietnam has increased by about 0.5-0.70 degrees Celsius, the sea level has been 20 centimetres higher. Climate change has actually caused natural disasters, especially more floods and droughts of increasing intensity.
"Vietnam is heavily affected by climate change due to its long coastline and many low-lying areas, particularly the Mekong Delta, the most vulnerable region to sea level rise,” Dinh said. “The impact of climate change on Vietnam is very serious, a threat to poverty reduction goals and sustainable development goals by 2030."
Dinh also said, “It is forecasted that if the sea level rises by one metre, about 40 per cent of the Mekong Delta, 11 per cent of the Red River Delta, and 3 per cent of the coastal provinces will be under water. 20 per cent of Ho Chi Minh City will be flooded, affecting about 10-12 per cent of our population. It would cost about 10 per cent of the GDP.”
According to Dinh, the business community is very important in coping with climate change. Enterprises are both the subject of climate change impacts and are important objects directly involved in transforming challenges into opportunities.
Pham Hoang Hai, head of the Secretariat of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that to ensure their continued existence and development, enterprises themselves must be proactive in preventing climate change.
“Enterprises can act in different ways: complying with environmental laws and energy consumption standards and norms in production and business; integrating sustainable development objectives in thier business strategies; taking specific actions and programmes in combating climate change in their company strategy; developing overall programmes on natural disaster mitigation; as well as participating in the industry’s and region’s initiatives on climate change prevention,” he said.
Besides, Hai also affirmed the importance of the government’s support to enterprises in preventing climate change. “The government can strengthen the monitoring of environmental law enforcement at enterprises; support businesses to access reasonable technology, and offer preferential financial resources to invest in environmentally friendly technology; as well as develop a policy framework to implement new economic models.
Meanwhile, according to Nguyen Huy Ninh, chairman of the Management Board of the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association, the fight against climate change needs talented scientists, through politicians and businessmen with vision. He also said that there should be a financial mechanism to force all enterprises to develop in a green way.“If enterprises don't follow green standards, they should not be allowed to join the stock exchange, and if they are not green, they shouldn't be allowed to coninue operations."