Vietnam’s Updated NDC: A Comprehensive and Unified Climate Action Pathway
Vietnam is the ninth country to submit its updated NDC to the UNFCCC. The submission followed a comprehensive process over three years, under the guidance of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc. Vietnam’s inclusive NDC review and updating process, which was coordinated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), involved active participation by scientists, ministries, agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, enterprises, international organizations, and development partners. MONRE also spearheaded a series of national, sub-national, sectoral, and thematic workshops to assess feasibility, content, and implementation measures.
The more ambitious NDC features stronger mitigation and adaptation commitments. Vietnam’s updated NDC identifies economy-wide mitigation measures for the period 2021-2030 that spans the energy, agriculture, waste, land use, land use change and forestry, and industrial sectors. The plan is distinct for tackling greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing industrial processes, while changing its base year from 2010 to 2014 and increasing its unconditional emission reduction target to 9 percent by 2030. Vietnam’s new plans to decrease emissions from industrial processes includes replacing construction materials and improving cement and chemical production processes, as well as reducing HFC consumption. The successful implementation of this enhanced NDC is projected to increase emission reduction by 21.2 million tons of CO2e, or a third (34 percent) compared to the INDC, to a total of 83.9 million tCO2e. Vietnam’s conditional emission reduction target is now 27 percent (or 250.8 million tCO2e), which is 52.6 million tons of CO2e more than the emissions reduction target in the first NDC.
Vietnam’s updated NDC also includes robust adaptation components. The national climate plan identifies targets and pathways to improve adaptive capacity, enhance resilience, and reduce risks caused by climate change. The updated NDC is directly linked to the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), and includes loss and damage, health, gender equality, and child protection. In addition to the strengthened mitigation and adaptation components, the updated NDC features new elements and significantly improves the means of implementation. Vietnam outlines clear commitments to mainstream the NDC with socio-economic development plans and strategies and draws clear overarching and discrete linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The country’s commitment to linking climate and development is typified by explicit links between elements of the updated NDC, SDG 11 on sustainable and resilient cities and human settlements, and SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production models.
As the first cycle for updated NDCs heightens, Vietnamese officials are rightly celebrating their climate leadership and collaborative approach. “This is a great effort of all relevant government agencies with strong leadership from MONRE and cooperation from development partners. I am proud of the achievement and would like to thank all for the support that we have received during the last three years. I look forward to working with all for the implementation of Vietnam’s updated NDC,” states Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director General at MONRE and NDC Partnership Focal Point for Vietnam.
NDC Partnership support for Vietnam’s three-year long review and update process
Vietnam’s ambitious updated NDC paves the way for sustainability and demonstrates country ownership. The NDC Partnership congratulates the people of Vietnam and is proud of our collaboration since 2017. The Partnership’s engagement with Vietnam contributed to the NDC review and updating process, both directly and through the efforts of many of Partnership’s institutional members. Coordination and collaboration among Government ministries and with development partners and other stakeholders for the implementation, review and update of the NDC was enhanced by an inter-agency matrix developed by GIZ, UNDP, and the World Bank at the start of the process. NDC Partnership members GIZ and UNDP played a key role in supporting the government, with GIZ focusing mainly on the mitigation components of the NDC (including agriculture, energy, industrial processes, LULUCF, and waste), while UNDP supported the adaptation component as well as co-benefits, synergies, and impacts of mitigation options on socio-economic development. At the same time, the World Bank contributed to the process through sectoral studies such as identification of investment and technical options for solid waste management in support of achieving the NDC mitigation targets, technical assessments to inform the development of policies to enhance water use efficiency in support of NDC priorities, and research with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) on getting to a low-carbon energy path to achieve the NDC target. The support of GIZ on the NDC mitigation component and the World Bank’s additional research with MOIT aided the inclusion of the industrial sector in the updated NDC. “It is an important milestone that the updated NDC now also covers emissions from industrial processes, which in 2014 accounted for about 12% of the country’s total emissions,” says Kia Fariborz, Chief Technical Advisor of SIPA at GIZ Vietnam. Mr. Fariborz added that “the updated NDC now calls for designing and implementing ambitious sector strategies and policies.” UNICEF, UN Women, and other partners also provided support for the Vietnam’s updated NDC.
NDC mainstreaming across provinces through CAEP
Vietnam is already taking action in line with its updated NDC. The country is leveraging support through the NDC Partnership’s Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP), delivered by the World Bank, WRI, and SNV. CAEP support is focused on translating the NDC to the provincial level through mainstreaming of targets in socio-economic development plans. As part of these efforts, SNV is developing model approaches and a gender-sensitive framework for mainstreaming NDC targets and actions in provincial socio-economic development plans.
Accelerating implementation and coordination of the NDC with Partnership support
Vietnam’s strengthened climate commitments are an opportunity for greater collaboration to support coordinated and effective climate action. The updated NDC outlines clear needs for the implementation phase, including challenges and response measures. As the Government of Vietnam looks to collaborate with partners to increase support for climate change adaptation and mitigation actions, the Partnership stands ready to support the coordinated implementation of its updated NDC. We value the opportunity to support accelerating climate action in this early (since November 2016) and longstanding member of the NDC Partnership.