As a global player and a manufacturing hub experiencing economic growth, Vietnam can grasp the opportunities of the green economy by playing a central role in climate action, a briefing event has heard.

A collaboration between Climateworks Centre and Fulbright University Vietnam, the post-COP27 event saw a series of expert briefings and discussions on the opportunities and challenges for businesses operating in Vietnam resulting from international climate commitments.

Trang Nguyen, Climateworks Southeast Asia Lead, was among the experts to present at the briefing, held earlier this month.

A woman stands onstage at a lecturn presenting to a large group of people. There is a video screen to her right showing a slide presentation and a camera in the centre of the room filming her.
Trang Nguyen presents at ‘COP 27 Opportunities and Challenges’, a collaboration between Fulbright University Vietnam and Climateworks Centre.

Ms Nguyen said while challenges to global climate cooperation persisted – including macroeconomic headwinds, geopolitical instability and rising energy prices – encouraging trends are emerging in climate movements.

‘In addition to the number of companies committing to nullify their emissions from their operations, companies are also addressing those emitted from their supply chains, mitigating climate risks and employing nature-based solutions,’ she said.

‘1.5°C aligned value chains, endorsed by businesses, can potentially further strengthen the official commitments of Vietnam towards net zero targets.

Bright spots for Vietnam

Last year’s COP27 conference in Egypt occurred after a year of energy and food price shocks, macroeconomic slowdown and extreme weather events, which all posed renewed challenges for global climate action. Developing nations like Vietnam were hit the hardest by some of these issues.

However, the briefing event identified emergent themes in climate movements globally that might present bright spots for Vietnam.

These included key international commitments, policies and mechanisms for the corporate sector to leverage climate action, best practices of the businesses operating in Vietnam, green finance, international collaboration, new ambitions in mitigating climate change, and guidelines for net zero production.

Dr John Vong speaks during a panel discussion at the event.

Dr John Vong, Climateworks Sustainable Finance Lead and Adjunct Professor at Monash University, joined a panel discussion with Vinamilk Director of Development and Research Nguyễn Quốc Khánh and Copper Mountain Energy board member Chung Diệu Tuấn and moderated by Fulbright University Vietnam Environmental Policy Lecturer Dr. Ha Quang Hung.

‘Finance, energy and business are collaborating in climate action towards limiting warming to 1.5°C,’ Dr Vong said.

‘Sustainability reporting is keeping pace with net zero commitments.’

In Australia, he said, net zero targets are being adopted across corporations and have nearly doubled between 2021 and 2022.

‘Emissions along the supply chain are reported, and that means countries who are part of the global supply chain like Vietnam may step up decarbonisation efforts to strengthen their competitiveness.’

Experts share insights

Dr. Le Viet Phu, the Environmental Policy lecturer at the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, gave a presentation on the progress of energy transition in Vietnam, emphasising the reduced competitiveness of coal and natural gas given the decrease in costs of renewable energy technologies.

Dominic Scriven, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Dragon Capital Group,
highlighted the importance of climate finance while noting the further efforts that are needed to harmonise rules and regulations on sustainability and climate reporting and incentivise companies and investors to achieve net zero targets. Mr. Scriven shared some best practices to assess climate risks, including addressing the physical and transition risks.

Four people stand on a stage
Climateworks’ Dr John Vong and Trang Nguyen with Lien Nguyen and Dr Hung Ha.

Other speakers included Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s Nguyen Thanh Cong, Australian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Sarah Hooper and British Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emily Hamblin.

More than 120 people attended the briefing, including representatives of the public, private, finance, non-government and academic sectors.

‘Having representatives from government ministries, business, NGO, academia and development partners get together to discuss solutions to climate change demonstrates willingness from different actors to collaborate to address shared challenges and accelerate climate action,’ Ms Nguyen said.

Read more and see additional photos from the briefing at the Fulbright University Vietnam website.

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