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Vietnam

Brief description:

ENERGY & CLIMATE CHANGE - POLICY AND PROGRESS

(This country has no specific CCS policy)

Emissions

Vietnam is a Non-Annex 1 Party within the Kyoto Protocol with no obligation to reduce its GHG emissions. With support from the Global Environment Facility and the UN, it prepared and submitted its national communication to the UNFCCC in 2010.

The country was responsible for total GHG emissions of 150.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2000. Around 65.1mt derived from agriculture, with 52.8mt coming from the energy sector, 15.1mt from land-use/land use change and forestry (LULUCF), 10.0mt from industrial processes, and 7.9mt from waste. In percentage terms, agriculture accounts for 43% of the country’s emissions. Energy emits 35% and LULUCF is responsible for 10%.

Government challenges

Within the Kyoto Protocol, Vietnam is considered a developing country with a focus on sustainable economic development, alleviating poverty and enhancing access to education and healthcare. However, it lies within a region with a monsoon tropical climate that is expected to be seriously affected by climate change – in particular, by temperature, rainfall and sea-level rise.

The country has made great strides in achieving Millennium Development Goals – targets set out by the UN in 2000 to help improve the lives of the world’s poor by 2015 – but any major economic impact or natural disaster could undermine these efforts.

As climate change impact escalates, Vietnam's water resources – river flow and groundwater – are expected to decrease. Annually, flood plains would expand due to sea-level rise, leading to economic losses and food security and health issues. Natural ecosystems and their wildlife, both coastal and inland, could be irretrievably damaged.  Higher temperatures would also alter the distribution of particular habitats, plants and animals.

In all, there would be adverse impacts on agriculture (which uses 28% of land), industry (which accounts for 36.7% of the total gross domestic product), forestry, aquaculture, transport and the energy sector.

Vietnam’s oil reserves are held in nine offshore fields, and state-owned Petrovietnam is joined by international players to exploit these resources. Gas production, for domestic consumption, has risen significantly since the late 1990s and the country is also developing its first refinery at Dung Quat. Fossil fuel production and use clearly has GHG emissions implications, while climate change could adversely affect oil and gas sector infrastructure and operations. Hydroelectric power generation would be affected by changing river flows.

In efforts to try and tackle its emissions, Vietnam has pointed to a lack of technical expertise and investment to help it move from outdated technologies towards more environmentally sound ones.

Government commitments and actions

UNFCCC

Vietnam ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2002. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is tasked with following through on these commitments. It has stressed its hope that the process would lead to national and regional development plans to deliver sustainable development.

The 2010 UNFCCC report lays out 28 mitigation options in the energy, agriculture and LULUCF sectors, 15 of which target energy. These include a focus on improving energy efficiency - which is currently poor - and a move from old polluting technologies towards low-carbon, greener options. The development and use of renewable and/or cleaner energy forms is also flagged up – such as replacing coal with LPG in homes, and higher efficiency electric motors.  There is no mention of, or commitment to, CCS technologies as a means to reduce GHG emissions.

Since October 2010, the country has registered 34 Clean Development Mechanism projects, with a total emission reduction of 17.5mt CO2e. Projects include associated gas recovery from oil extraction, methane recovery from waste treatment, and wind, solar and biomass energy generation.

NGO Climate Change Working Group

This group, set up in 2008, has been facilitating inter-agency debates and developments between NGOS and other national agencies, which have shown an interest in activities to combat climate change.

National Development Strategy

Vietnam’s current draft national development strategy – which essentially deals with socio-economic development from 2011 to 2020 – highlights the need to mitigate climate change through national programmes and international co-operation. It also aims to include measures to protect and improve the environment within specific projects and regional strategies.

Although the strategy recommends fast-tracking industrialisation to achieve economic goals, there is a call to encourage investment in what it terms ‘big value added products’, such as industries using clean technologies. It also recommends limiting investment in mining and energy-hungry industries, and rejecting projects that could pollute the environment.

Environmental regulations

The government has recognised the need for legal frameworks to support climate change mitigation programmes and a low-carbon economy. It also highlights the need for international support in the areas of financial backing, policymaking, more detailed emissions data, and the development of adaptation measures.

A number of laws and regulations directly relating to GHG emissions have been brought in, such as the Law on Environmental Protection (2005), the Water Resources Law (1998), and the Law on Energy Efficiency (2010). In 2003, the National Environment Protection Strategy was approved, which aims to promote cleaner technologies and processes as well as greener fuels and materials.

The government set up the National Target Program on Energy Efficiency in 2006 to raise public awareness, promote research and develop technology. It also enforces regulations on energy conservation and efficiency.

National Target Program to respond to Climate Change

In 2008, Vietnam approved its National Target Programme for climate change. It seeks to identify climate change impact by region so that feasible action plans can be developed – regionally, nationally and internationally. It comprises nine targets to be met between 2009 and 2015, and legal developments relating to the country’s climate change response.

Regulatory framework

The Vietnamese government is currently reviewing other countries’ regulatory frameworks for supporting the implementation of CCS, specifically those with similar socio-economic conditions to Vietnam.

The country is currently taking part in the Asian Development Bank’s survey to determine the potential for CCS implementation in south-east Asia – with a focus on Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. The survey includes an assessment of legislation with relevance to CCS. Developments are expected in next six months.

Vietnam was a new contributor to the IEA's bi-annual CCS legal review, published in May 2011. Download the CCS Review here.

Other information

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
http://www.monre.gov.vn/monreNet/default.aspx?tabid=252

 

 




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