Law on Environmental Protection No: 55/2014/QH13 ( 2015 )

The Law specifies that environmental protection should be in harmony with economic development, social protection, biodiversity protection and adapting to climate change. The revised law replaces a previous version published in 2005 and states that protecting the environment is the responsibility of all agencies, organisations, households and individuals; that organisations and individuals that benefit from…read more

Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control No: 33/2013/QH13 ( 2013 / Adaptation Framework )

This law provides natural disaster prevention and control activities; specifies the rights and obligations of agencies, organisations, households and individuals engaged in natural disaster prevention and control activities; and details the state management of, and assurance of resources for, natural disaster prevention and control. It specifies that natural disaster prevention and control activities must be…read more

Law on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy No: 50/2010/QH12 (as regulated by Decree 21/2011/ND-CP on the Law on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy and Measures for its Implementation) ( 2010 )

Vietnam’s Law on energy efficiency covers all areas of the economy, and specifically: – The industrial sector, including users and producers of energy, through to cottage industries – The transportation sector, including amongst others the manufacturers and importers of transportation equipment and vehicles; and the national transportation infrastructure – The agricultural sector, including the development…read more

Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister dated 11 April 2017 on the mechanism for encouragement of the development of solar power projects in Vietnam ( 2017 )

Decision No. 11/2017/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister, passed on 11 April 2017 and taking effect from 1 June 2017, sets out mechanisms for encouragement of the development of solar power projects in Vietnam as a form of clean energy. The Decision contains provisions for funding, incentives (including a feed-in tariff and import duty exemption) and investment in…read more

Resolution 24/NQ-TW: Active response to climate change, improvement of natural resource management and environmental protection ( 2013 )

This resolution is intended to further enhance the mainstreaming of climate change and sustainable development in Vietnam, in response to what the government sees as an insufficiently rapid and serious response to previous action plans and legislation amongst Vietnam's ministries. The resolution promotes the shift towards a model of green growth (see the below Green…read more

Decision 1393/QD-TTg: Vietnam Green Growth Strategy ( 2012 )

Green growth is a means to achieve a low carbon economy and to enrich Vietnam's natural capital through sustainable development. It notes that GHG emissions and removals are gradually becoming essential indicators in social-economic development, and attempts to normalise this within Vietnam's development framework. The central pillars of the programme are – Low Carbon Growth…read more

Decision No.799/QD-TTg. Approval of the national REDD action programme ( 2012 )

Prime Minister’s approval of the national REDD action programme in the 2011–2020 period. The document sets out the goals, objectives and tasks of Vietnam’s REDD+ policy. Principally the legislation is designed to reduce emissions from LULUCF by setting out the legal framework for pilot REDD+ programmes and activities to be demonstrated.…read more

Decision No. 543/QD-BNN-KHCN: Action Plan on Climate Change Response of Agriculture and Rural Development Sector in the Period 2011-2015 and vision to 2050 ( 2011 )

This decision aims to strengthen the capacity of the agriculture and rural development sector to mitigate GHG emissions, as well as to reduce impacts from climate change, and to promote sustainable development. The five main objectives of the decision are: - Stabilise, ensure safety for residents of the cities, regions, particularly the Mekong river delta,…read more

Decisions No. 37/2011/QD-TTg and 39/2018/QD-TTg on the support for Wind Power Projects ( 2011 )

This decision provides the mechanism to support the development of wind power projects in Vietnam. It sets out procedures for the elaboration, approval and public notification of wind power development plans. It further provides for mechanisms to support the development of wind power projects, which include incentives related to investment capital, taxes, charges, land incentives…read more

The National Climate Change Strategy and the No: 2139/QD-TTg Decision on Approval of the National Climate Change Strategy ( 2011 / Mitigation Framework )

These two pieces of legislation establish and approve Vietnam’s National Climate Change Strategy. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, other ministers, leaders of ministerial agencies, heads of governmental agencies, presidents of Provincial People’s Committees are responsible for implementing this Decision. The Strategy, approved by the Prime Minister of Vietnam, is a “multi-century vision” and…read more

Decision No. 158/2008/QD-TTg on the Approval of the National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change ( 2008 )

The Programme specifies the following targets to be achieved by 2015: – Assessment of climate change extent and impacts in Vietnam o Update climate change scenarios, especially sea level rise o Complete assessment of climate change impacts, especially sea level rise, on fields, sectors and localities – Identification of measures to respond to climate change…read more

Decision No. 2730/QH-BNN-KHCN: Decision on Promulgation of the Climate Change Adaptation Framework Action ( 2008 )

The overarching goals of this decision are to : – Maintain security and safety across the country but particularly in vulnerable mountainous and deltaic regions – Maintain stable agricultural production – Develop infrastructure protection (such as dykes) The document also sets out specific goals and tasks that should be completed in order to achieve these…read more

Decision 177/2007/QD-TTg Approving the Scheme on Development of Biofuels up to 2015, with a Vision to 2025 ( 2007 )

The Policy sets out to promote the production and use of biofuels, and to provide a legal and financial framework attractive and conducive to investment in the sector. This includes favourable tax mechanisms; concessional loans and (unspecified) land use rights to investors in biofuel production. Between 2007 and 2015, biofuels are classified as eligible for…read more

Decision No. 1855/QD/TTg: Approving the National Energy Development Strategy of Vietnam for the period up to 2020 with outlook to 2050 ( 2007 )

Approves the National Energy Development Strategy to 2020, with outlook to 2050. The Strategy states that renewable energy forms are not yet sufficiently assessed and so provides a mandate for further research into potential for exploitation. It also specifically mentions use of propaganda on the use of renewable energy sources in remote areas. The Strategy…read more

National Target Program on Efficient Use and Saving Energy (EUSE), approved by Decision 79/2006/QD-TTg ( 2006 )

This decision sets out to approve the national programme on Energy Efficiency and Conservation for2006–2015. The Programme itself has a series of detailed programmes: – Intensification of the state administration of energy efficiency and conservation, and organising state control systems – Awareness raising of energy efficiency – Developing and popularising high efficiency and energy saving…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

8% (unconditional) up to 25% (conditional) reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to the BAU scenario

Economy Wide | Baseline Scenario Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: business as usual scenario

Source: NDC

Reduce GHG emission by 1.5-2% per year by 2030, 2050 against a 2010 baseline

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

Reduce total GHG emissions by at least 1% per year without and 2% with international support by 2030 against a 2010 baseline

Economy Wide | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

Reduce GHG emissions per unit of GDP by 8-10% by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Resolution... (2013 / Executive)

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Increase the share of new and renewable energies to about 5% of the total commercial primary energies by 2020 and about 11% by 2050

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Increase the proportion of new and renewable energies to about 3% of the total amount of commercial primary energy by 2010; about 5% by 2020 and 11% by 2050

Renewable Energy | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Decision N... (2007 / Executive)

Transform the structure of energy use towards increasing the proportion of renewable energy, new energy to 5% of total primary commercial energy; Reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Resolution... (2013 / Executive)

Reduce intensity of GHG emissions per unit of GDP by 8-10% by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

To develop models of management of economical and efficient use of energy for application to 40% of major energy-using enterprises selected nationwide during the 2006-2010 period, to 100% of major energy-using enterprises during the 2011-2015 period, and to small- and medium-sized enterprises afterwards by 2006-2016 against a 2006 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2016 | Base year: 2006 | Source(s): National T... (2006 / Executive)

Perform mandatory management under Vietnam construction standard "Projects with economical and efficient use of energy" of 100% of newly constructed buildings by 2006

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2006 | Base year: 2006 | Source(s): National T... (2006 / Executive)

Save 3-5% of the total energy amount consumed nationwide in the 2006-2010 period and 5-8% in the 2011 -2015 period compared with the current energy and socio-economic development forecasts according to normal development plans by 2006-2015 against a 2006 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2006 | Source(s): National T... (2006 / Executive)

To build and develop biofuel production and using estabishments nationwide. By 2015, the output of ethanol and vegetable oil will reach 250,000 tons (enough for blending 5 million tons of E5 and B5), satisfying 1% of the whole country's gasoline and oil demand

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2007 / Executive)

By 2010, to develop various models of trial production and use of biofuels with a total annual output of 100,000 tons of E5 and 50,000 tons of B5 in order to satisfy 0.4% of the whole country's gasoline and oil demand

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2010 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2007 / Executive)

By 2050, nuclear electricity will account for about 15–20% of total commercial energy consumption by 2050 against a 2007 baseline

Nuclear | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Decision N... (2007 / Executive)

Reduce GHG emissions in energy activities by 20 to 30% compared to business as usual by 2030 against a 2010 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

Ethanol and vegetable oil output will reach 1.8 million tons, satisfying some 5% of the whole country's gasoline and oil demand by 2025

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2025 | Base year: 2007 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2007 / Executive)

By 2020, total capacity of hydropower plants will reach 20,000-22,000 MW by 2020

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Reduce GHG emissions from energy activities by 10% to 20% compared to the business as usual case by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

Reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP by 1.5-2% per year by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies

Forest coverage increases to 45%.

Reforestation

Forest cover of 42-43% attained in 2010 and 47% by 2020 by 2010, 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Afforestation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision N... (2011 / Executive)

45% forest cover by 2030

LULUCF/Forestry: General | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

Increase the national forest cover rate to 44-45% by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Afforestation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Increase the national forest cover rate to 44-45% by 2020 against a 2016 baseline

Afforestation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): Decision N... (2012 / Executive)

Reduce GHG emissions through reduction of deforestation and forest degradation, increased greenhouse-gas sequestration by forests, contributing to achieve the target of reducing 20% of the total emission in the agricultural sector by 2020 against a 2016 baseline

Preservation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2016 | Source(s): Decision N... (2012 / Executive)

To manage the rational exploitation, terminate the exploitation of natural forests and raise the area of natural reserves to over 3 million hectares; Increase forest coverage to over 45% by 2020

Preservation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Resolution... (2013 / Executive)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Reduction of GHG emissions at 20% in each 10-year period in agriculture by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

General | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision N... (2011 / Executive)

Reduce GHG emission from agriculture by 20%, while securing 20% growth and lowering the rate of poverty by 20% by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

General | Trajectory Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

90% of industrial facilities using cleaner production technologies and reducing consumption of energy, fuel and materials by 2020 against a 2010 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies

The average national poverty rate will be lowered 2%/year; in poor districts and communes it will be lowered by 4%/year until 2030

Poverty Reduction | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

Over 10% of the population and over 65% of public employees and servants will understand about climate change and its impacts by 2010

Adaptation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2008 | Source(s): Decision N... (2008 / Executive)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Use of compressed natural gas and liquefied gas in buses and taxis to reach the target of 20% of buses and taxis by 2020, and 80% by 2050

Public Transport | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2050 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Share of public transportation in large and medium cities reaching 35-45% by 2020

Public Transport | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): Decision 1... (2012 / Executive)

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

90% of urban household solid waste will he collected and treated, of which 85% will be recycled, reused and recovered for energy generation by 2020

Waste-to-energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2010 | Source(s): The Nation... (2011 / Executive)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies

The area of protection forest in coastal areas is increased to 380,000 hectares, including 20,000 to 50,000ha of additional mangrove planting by 2030

Mangroves | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies

At least 90% of Socio-Economic Development Plans will have integrated disaster risk management and climate change adaptation by 2030

Disaster Relief And Recovery | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies

100% of the population has access to health care services by 2030

Health Services And Assessment | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies

At least 90% of city-dwellers and 80% of rural inhabitants wil have access to clean water by 2030

Water Supply | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Vietnam has the highest population density in Southeast Asia after Singapore, with a national average of 232 people/km2 and up to 1,000 people/km2 in the Northern Delta. Since the country lies in the tropical cyclone belt, it is vulnerable to natural disasters, including typhoons, floods, droughts, saltwater intrusion and landslides. According to the National Climate Change Strategy (2011), between 2001 and 2010 damage caused by such disasters resulted in 9,500 deaths and missing persons as well as the loss of approximately 1.5% of annual GDP. The areas projected to suffer increased frequency and intensity of these disasters are largely those with already high levels of poverty. At the 2007 13th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in Bali, Vietnam was recognised as one of the five countries likely to be most affected by the impacts of climate change. Vietnam’s Mekong Delta is one of the world’s three most vulnerable deltas to sea level rise.

Climate change is therefore of great importance to the government whose socialist market economic goals and policies focus on poverty relief and economic development of rural areas. The National Climate Change Strategy states that adaptation is its priority in the initial phases of the plan. Mitigation actions are “no regrets” options that provide win-win solutions, such as REDD+ activities in areas suffering from erosion and landslides due to deforestation and land use change, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

Vietnam signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and ratified it in 1994. The Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1998 and ratified in 2002 and the Hyogo Framework for Action was signed in 2005. The Prime Minister issued a Directive on Organising the Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC in 2005 and approved the Plan for Organising the Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC for the Period 2007-2010. It also ratified the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response in 2009.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has the principle responsibility for managing response to climate change. Within the mandates of MONRE, the Department of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change (DMHCC) is assigned to co-ordinate climate change-related activities while the Department of Legal Affairs (DLA) advises on the legal aspects of climate change including legislation development, review and implementation. MONRE is also the national focal point to implement the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. Vietnam submitted its First National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2003 and its Second National Communication in 2010. In December 2014, Vietnam submitted its Initial Biennial Updated Report (BUR1) to the UNFCCC. According to the BUR1, as of June 2014, Vietnam had 253 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects and over 10m Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) were issued.

Recognition of the importance of climate change is demonstrated by domestic responses as well as international engagement. At the domestic level, political will and commitment to responding to climate change is reflected most recently in Article 68 of its Constitution (2013)[1] and the Communist Party’s Resolution on Active Response to Climate Change, Improvement of Natural Resource Management and Environmental Protection (2013). The Party Central Committee is the supreme power and therefore the Resolution serves as one of the critical bases for designing policies in response to climate change. According to the Resolution, specific objectives until 2020 include, among others, to reduce GHG emissions per unit of GDP from 8-10% compared with 2010.

In addition, Vietnam has developed a series of national strategies, plans and activities relating to natural disasters and climate change, supported largely by Decrees from the Prime Minister. The National Target Programme to Respond to Climate Change was promulgated in 2008 and requires the mainstreaming of activities in response to climate change in all other sectors and fields. It sets out to: evaluate the impact of, and set up action plans to respond to climate change in the short and long term; and to ensure sustainable development and develop a low carbon economy. The programme set the target of developing a framework of 1) legal documents, 2) mechanisms and 3) policies to respond to climate change, and by 2015 to promulgate, supplement and update all three of these. In 2011, the Prime Minister approved  the National Strategy on Climate Change, which sets out four specific objectives: 1) to ensure food security, energy security, water security, poverty reduction, gender equality, social security, public health, improved living standards and natural resource protection; 2) the development of a low-carbon economy; 3) improved public awareness including popularising climate-friendly ways of living and modes of consumption; and 4) enhancing international co-operation. The National Committee on Climate Change was established as an advisory agency for the Prime Minister to propose strategic solutions, mobilise and co-ordinate resources to respond to climate change. The Committee is the key institutional body for overseeing climate change policy. It is headed by the Prime Minister and consists of one Deputy Prime Minister, the MONRE Minister, other Ministers and representatives of some National Assembly agencies, academic institutions, scientists and experts. The tasks set out in the Strategy include developing laws, policies and mechanisms on climate change in conformity with the country’s specific stage of development, global policies and international conventions of which Vietnam is a member.

To implement the Strategy, the National Action Plan on Climate Change Period 2012–2020 was issued in 2012. The Action Plan sets out its objectives and lists 65 programmes, projects and proposals, the timeline for their implementation and the agencies responsible for their implementation. One of the tasks is to determine the grounds for the development of a law on climate change.

In the same year, the National Strategy on Environment Protection to 2020 With Visions to 2030 (2012) was also approved. It includes the target to “improve the capability of actively responding to climate change and reduce the increase of GHG emissions” and sets out actions to 1) improve public awareness and adaptability to climate change; 2) mainstream climate change response into strategies, plans, program and projects and improve the resistance and adaptability of ecosystems against the impacts of climate change and sea level rise; and 3) reduce GHG emissions.

The National Green Growth Strategy was also approved by the Prime Minister in 2012. The strategy sets out objectives towards a green economy, energy efficiency, GHG reduction and improvement of living standards. It includes the target to reduce the intensity of GHG emissions by 8-10% (as compared to the 2010 level) between 2011 and 2020; and reduce GHG emissions by at least 1.5% -2% a year until 2030. The strategy focuses on improving energy efficiency, changing the fuel structure in industry and transportation, increasing the proportion of new and renewable energy sources and the development of organic agriculture.

In 2012, the Prime Minister also announced that by 2020 Vietnam would launch a national carbon emissions trading scheme. The scheme covers the management of emissions of six types of GHGs with the target to reduce GHG emissions (compared to 2005 levels) in the energy and transport sectors by 8%, by 20% in the agricultural sector, by 20% in LULUCF and by 5% in waste management. The management of carbon credit trading activities focuses on observing international regulations, the formulation of a domestic carbon market and participation in the international carbon market.

In 2013, a National Assessment Report on the Legal Preparedness for Climate Change in Vietnam was completed by the Department of Legal Affairs at MONRE. In June 2014, the revised Law on Environmental Protection was passed. The law, which came into force on 1 January 2015, requires activities relating to environmental protection to be harmonised with response to climate change. This Law added a chapter on response to climate change which provides for the integration of climate change with socio-economic development; management of GHGs; management of ozone-depleting substances; promotion of clean and renewable forms of energy; eco-friendly production and consumption; waste-to-energy conversion; rights and responsibilities of the community in responding to climate change; development and application of technological and scientific advances; and international cooperation. Work is currently ongoing within MONRE to guide the implementation of this law.

In 2014, the Prime Minister also agreed to allocate VND3trn (USD46.9m) from the Support Programme to Respond to Climate Change to implement projects in response to climate change in 2015, focusing specifically on 16 projects involving coastal and protective afforestation and sea dyke reinforcement.

Future climate change legislation is likely to target the transportation sector, with plans to establish an Action Plan Creation Board under the Ministry of Transportation, tasked specifically with responding to climate change. There have also been efforts to mainstream climate change response in various other sector development plans, particularly in industry and the construction sector.

An Action Plan Framework for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change of the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector covering the period 2008–2020 was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2008. The plan focuses in particular on the stability and safety of residents, the stability of the agricultural production system (most notably food security derived from rice production), and to ensure the safety of dyke and infrastructure systems in the context of disaster preparedness. The tasks contained within the action plan are intended to improve adaptation capabilities and ensure the sustainable development of agriculture and rural development.

Energy supply

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in South East Asia and electricity demand is predicted to treble by 2020. As such it is trying to rapidly diversify its energy mix, and has shown some commitment to ensuring that rising energy demand is at least in part supplied from renewable sources. Fossil fuel subsidies are due to be phased out by 2020, making renewables relatively more attractive on a cost basis. The government is supporting the development of onshore wind power and local analysts expect more legal instruments in 2014 to encourage the development of power generation from biomass and biogas. The Renewable Energy Action Plan identifies hydro and solar power as the existing sources with the highest potential for development. Nuclear power is now also expected to play a role. A nuclear power development plan approved by the government in 2007 set a target of 8GW of nuclear capacity by 2025.

Various consultancy and government reports highlight the potential to expand the renewable energy sector, as aside from hydropower, it currently represents only a small proportion of the energy production. Hydro-electricity provides 35% of energy. However, hydroelectric power has been developed in forested areas, causing deforestation and the loss of resources to local communities, in direct conflict with goals of rural poverty alleviation, sustainable forest use and specifically with regards to climate change policy, REDD+. The government intends to increase renewables’ contribution to the energy mix from 3% in 2010 to 5% by 2020 and 11% by 2050. Two key incentives are The Regulation of Avoided Cost Tariff and Standardised Power Purchase Agreement for Small Renewable Energy Power Plants (SPPA Regulation) and the Avoided Cost Tariff for 2009 (ACT Regulation). The government aims to increase the contribution of biofuels (ethanol and vegetable oil) to 1% of petrol and oil by 2015, rising to 5% by 2025.

The National Strategy on Climate Change recognises that Vietnam’s plans to become a modern industrialised country by 2020 will result in higher GHG emissions and therefore the need to invest in recycled and renewable energies. However, despite these renewable energy ambitions, the National Socio-Economic Development Plan for the 2011-2015 Period (2011) and the National Master Plan for Power Development in the 2011-2020 Period, with Considerations to 2030 (2011) predict big increases in carbon-intensive coal-fired power generation. Domestic analysts consider that government and private investments will follow these two plans, rather than any of the climate change documents described here.

The impact of climate change strategies will depend on the degree to which there are changes in 2015-2016 in the National Socio-Economic Development and National Power Development Master Plans to align them with the climate change documents. Without such change, coal-fired power generation will account for over 50% of total capacity by 2030, from less than 20% in 2010.

Energy Demand

Energy demand is increasing dramatically, with overall demand likely to triple in the next 10 years, and increases in electricity demand expected at 14% per annum. Much of this increase in demand is expected to come from light manufacturing and transport. The key law on energy demand is the Law on the Economical and Efficient Use of Energy (2010). Together with the Decree Detailing the Law on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy and Measures for its Implementation (approved in 2011) and the National Target Programme for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (2012), it forms the legal framework for regulating energy consumption practices. Various decrees and decisions support the law and form the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling Programme (VEESL) (also known as VNEEP, or the Vietnam Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programme).

A key part of the VEESL programme comprises the implementation of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for appliances and equipment and which is regulated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Appliances covered under the MEPS include washing machines, fluorescent tube lamps, air-conditioning units, printers and electric fans. The National Target Programme on Energy Efficiency and Conservation includes multiple energy efficiency targets such as saving 5-8% of total national energy consumption in the period 2012-2015, while the Decree introduced the legislative framework for the MEPS element of the VEESL programme.

Other, related, initiatives include a partnership with USAID to promote a green building programme in partnership with the Ministry of Construction, and the announcement in September 2014 of a USD500m loan from the World Bank to fund the construction of over 1,000km of transmission lines and implement Smart Grid technologies to improve reliability and quality of electricity supply.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Vietnam is one of 13 countries chosen by the UN REDD programme, and has submitted a Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) to the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Vietnam has also enacted a number of laws and policies in this field, including the Law on Forest Protection and Development (passed in 2004), the Forestry Development Strategy for the Period 2006-2020, the Forest Protection and Development Plan 2011-2020 and the National Action Programme on Reduction of GHG Emissions Through Efforts to Reduce Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Sustainable Management of Forest Resources, and Conservation and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks 2011-2020. In 2011, a country study on Legal Preparedness for REDD+ was also completed by the Department of Legal Affairs at MONRE.

To protect existing forest, the Law on Minerals (2010) prohibits mining activities in the areas of special-use forests, protection forests or areas planned for special-use forests or protection forests. This presents an opportunity at least for the implementation of REDD+, but mineral extraction is often given priority over forest conservation.

To promote restoration, the government has issued a number of policies on devel­oping watershed protection forest, such as the 5m Hectares Reforestation Programme, which aims largely to address the problems of deforestation caused by hydropower development. Other schemes to increase forest cover include Programme 135 (a poverty reduction programme) and the National Forest Development Strategy. Another directive directs localities to re-plan forest management to include conservation and protec­tion of forests. Nonetheless, government plans to expand rubber plantations to 800,000 ha by 2020, including in areas of “natural poor forest”. Without clarification of this term, continued planned clearance of natural forest may run against REDD+ principles.

Other actions in LULUCF include payments for ecosystem services (PES) in the forest sector: Vietnam piloted PES in Lam Dong and Son La from 2008–2010. This has the potential to reconcile the apparent conflicts between differing demands for land use, particularly hydropower and forest conservation. The decree formalising the national development of PES crucially includes carbon as an ecosystem service.

Transportation

The transport network is under significant threat from climate change. If mean sea level rises by 1m, MONRE estimates that 11,000 km of roads could be submerged. However, GHG emissions from transport are predicted to triple between 2010 and 2030, and increasing transport connectivity, particularly in the Greater Mekong sub-region is a national priority. In 2010, the Ministry of Transport released a Transport Climate Change Action Plan (2011-2015) which aimed to identify impacts of climate change on transport infrastructure and activities, and to identify suitable mitigation and adaptation options for transport projects.

Transport policies are increasingly integrated across a number of Vietnam’s laws and executive policies, such as the Law on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy and the Vietnam Green Growth Strategy. Targets include enhancing public bus systems and building mass public transport networks to serve 25-30% of passenger travel demand, and to control the number of motorcycles and passenger cars, especially in Hanoi and Hoi Chi Minh City. It is estimated that there will be somewhere between 3.2m and 3.5m motor vehicles by 2020.

Planned policies include a higher import and excise tax rate on motorcycles and passenger cars, a higher registration fee on motor vehicles, the introduction of a parking fee for passenger cars and to subsidise public bus transport. The government is also planning to approve a roadmap for the application of blended ratios of biofuels and fossil fuels, to be available no later than 2018.

Adaptation

In early 2015, the Vietnam Special Report on Managing Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation was released and contains a comprehensive risk assessment for the country. The National Strategy for Natural Disaster Prevention, Response and Mitigation to 2020, approved in 2007, does not specifically refer to climate change but outlines the approach for disaster mitiga­tion and management, particularly floods, storms and droughts. In 2013, the Law on Natural Disaster Prevention and Control was promulgated, requiring the incorporation of climate change impact assessments in the development of national strategies and plans on natural disaster prevention.

In 2011, the Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2011-2015 was approved by the National Assembly. It required specialised mechanisms and policies to support localities and rice growers to ensure national food security, especially in the context of climate change and sea level rice impacting the delta provinces, especially those in the Mekong River Delta.

In 2012, the Prime Minister approved the Vietnam Sustainable Development Strategy for 2011-2020.  One objective of the Strategy includes is to actively and effectively respond to climate change, especially sea level rise. Priorities under the Strategy include promulgating policies on poverty reduction based on the view of climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation; developing and enhancing people’s response and resilience capacity to protect natural resources in the context of climate change and improving of living standards; building a system to monitor climate change and sea level rise; modernising the observation system and technology for hydro-meteorological forecasting for early warnings of extreme weather events; organising the implementation of the National Climate Change Strategy; designing and issuing a law on climate change prevention, control and mitigation; enhancing awareness, responsibility and capacity to cope with climate change and prevent natural disasters of relevant stakeholders; enhance science and technology activities, organization capacity, and institutions; and develop policies and human resources to actively response to climate change and mitigate impacts and losses caused by climate change.

In 2011, the National Assembly issued the Resolution on the 2012 Socio-Economic Development Plan calling for a national programme on response to climate change and sea level rise for each area and locality as well as specific implementation plans for people to feel secure and take the initiative in preventing and mitigating regrettable damage. In October 2014, the National Assembly issued a Resolution on the Results of Monitoring and Promoting the Implementation of Policies in Response to Climate Change in the Mekong Delta.

[1] Article 63 of Vietnam’s constitution provides: (1) The State shall adopt environmental protection policies; manage and use natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner; conserve nature and biodiversity; and take the initiative in preventing and controlling natural disasters and responding to climate change. (2) The State shall encourage all activities for environmental protection and the development and use of new energy and renewable energy.

To date, Vietnam does not have any litigation listed.

Vietnam is a highly centralised state, whose constitution provides the fundamental and highest law. The majority of power resides at this central level with all laws and policies issued by the National Assembly and the government. The former produces framework legislation, while the latter provides guidance on the implementation of legislation.

The National Assembly is a unicameral body elected for a five-year term, which elects a president as head of state, and a prime minister as head of government. The assembly is Vietnam’s legislative body, and the highest level representa­tive body. It is responsible for approving and supervising the implementation of state plans. The Communist Party has decisive influence over the executive and exercises control through the Central Committee. Members of the party hold all senior government positions. The most recent election was in 2016 with the next expected for 2021.

Last modified 21 August, 2017