The economy of Vietnam is heavily dependent on the exploitation of natural resources to create high-intensity products such as steel and concrete. Seeking to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, increase air quality, and preserve natural resources, the Vietnam government has created the Vietnam Green Growth Strategy (VGGS). The stated objective of the VGGS is to achieve a low carbon economy and sustainable development while maintaining GDP growth. The VGGS provides country-wide goals but allows the 63 provinces within Vietnam to build their own programs for compliance. The country-wide goals include:
- An 8-10% reduction in GHG emissions from 2010 levels by 2020.
- Reduce BTUs consumed per $ GDP by 1-1.5% per year.
- Provide 42-45% of GDP from green technology.
- Build wastewater treatment systems that comply with regulatory standards in 60% of cities with populations above 150,000.
- Provide 35-45% of transport demand in large and medium cities with public transit.
- Build infrastructure so that 50% of cities meet ‘green urban standards’.
This case study looks at three provinces: Bac Ninh, Thanh Hoa, and Quang Ninh. By examining policies and impacts in each province the case study provides lessons learned, outlined below, to support green growth at the subnational and national level in Vietnam.
- Strong national policy helps provinces develop and implement localized green growth plans
- Provincial level activity, supported by national policy, is quicker than national policies alone at attracting financial resources from the state budget, private enterprises, communities, and international organizations.
- Communication is a major challenge at the provincial level between ministries when transferring information between provinces. National organizations can offer support by providing training, reports, and points of contacts between provinces.
- Engaging the private sector with green growth plans and actions is critical in supporting implementation
- The greatest risk to the VGGS is a lack of financial incentives brought on by lack of business interest and private investors. This can be helped with outreach to local and national businesses on the VGGS.
- Market approaches require time before their impact is measurable.