Viet Nam proactively responds to climate change

The Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attends the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow and pays a working visit to the UK from October 31 to November 3. On this occassion, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long talked about the important messages of the trip.
Viet Nam proactively responds to climate change
Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long and other diplomats visited the International Convention Center in Glasgow where the COP26 Summit take place. (Source: Viet Nam's Embassy in the UK)

Could you please talk about the significance of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's attendance at COP26?

After nearly two years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the trip of PM Pham Minh Chinh has been of great significance with many activities on multilateral forums and meetings with other leaders as well as Vietnamese overseas community.

PM Pham Minh Chinh's attendance and delivering a speech at the COP26 Leaders Summit shows the determination and efforts of the Viet Nam’s Government in promoting and implementing international commitments, especially on global issues which draw special attention from the international community. This fact shows that Viet Nam is an active member and a reliable and responsible partner.

Vietnam's participation in the Summit at a high level demonstrates our proactive role in efforts to respond to climate change. On this occasion, Viet Nam will convey to the international community the message about the efforts made by the country amid challenges and negative impacts of climate change on Viet Nam.

Besides, the Conference provides Vietnamese leaders and officials with opportunities to promote cooperation with bilateral and international partners, organizations, seeking financial support and technology for capacity building in responding to climate change.

PM Chinh is scheduled to have working breakfast with British PM Boris Johnson and the Premiers of three England regions (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

How do you assess the role of the UK, the Chairman of COP26?

This year, besides the sessions prescribed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the UK hosts the Climate Change Summit on November 1-2 to kick off the COP26 Conference.

It is obvious that the UK has determination and effort in making substantive changes with high level commitment at COP26. The UK itself has made a strong commitment to climate change response and actively promotes other countries to make high commitments.

“Climate change diplomacy” has become the UK's focus, and anti-climate change content has been included in the UK's bilateral and multilateral diplomatic activities over the past years.

Moreover, the UK chose Glasgow rather than London or other big cities for the conference because of the fact that Glasgow is considered the capital of renewable energy, especially wind power. During the conference, the organizing Committee also paid attention to traffic regulations to reduce emissions and use clean fuel.

Đại sứ Nguyễn Hoàng Long gặp ông Nigel Adams, Bộ trưởng, Văn phòng Nội các Anh, chuẩn bị cho chuyến thăm làm việc của Thủ tướng Phạm Minh Chính tại VQ Anh và dự Hội nghị Cop26.
Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long met Minister Nigel Adams at Cabinet Office to prepare for Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's visit to the UK. (Source: Viet Nam's embassy in the UK)

In responding to climate change, the UK has modern technology and leads efforts to achieve emission reduction targets. How could Viet Nam and the UK cooperate in addressing climate change in the coming time?

The UK is leading the world in its efforts and commitment to address climate change. The UK has the world's leading energy corporations which possess modern technology, especially in renewable energy. The UK is also a financial center and is currently aiming to be a green financial center.

In the strategic partnership agreement between Viet Nam and the UK signed in 2010, the two sides put sustainable development, including responding to climate change, as a key cooperation field.

Accordingly, the two countries will work bilaterally and multilaterally to respond to the urgent challenges posed by climate change through concrete actions in line with UNFCCC principles and the Paris Agreement.

In the past few years, the two countries have had many cooperation programs and projects on climate change, such as dialogues, policy exchanges, basic research which lay the basis for policy formulation and implementation of millennium goals.

The UK committed to support Viet Nam's climate-resilient and low-carbon economic growth strategy, transitioning to renewable energy, transferring science, technology and green finance, accessing to international funding for climate change response.

For the UK, Viet Nam is heavily affected by climate change. However, Viet Nam has great potential to transform to clean energy through phasing out coal power and increasing production of renewable energy, especially wind power and solar energy.

Currently, many British energy corporations are interested in renewable energy investment in Viet Nam.

Therefore, in addition to policy cooperation priorities, I will give priority to promoting British investment in renewable energy, cooperation on technology transfer and green finance. These are two key factors in the green transition.

How do you evaluate the prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the coming time at multilateral forums and within ASEAN, especially when the UK has just become a dialogue partner of ASEAN?

Cooperation at multilateral forums is an important content within the framework of the Viet Nam - UK strategic partnership. The two sides committed to coordinating through multilateral forums, including the United Nations and ASEAN.

In fact, Viet Nam and the UK have had close and effective cooperation during Viet Nam's term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2008-2009 and 2020-2021 periods. Both sides were members of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 term.

The UK applied to become a dialogue partner of ASEAN in 2020 while Viet Nam held the ASEAN Chairmanship.

This is one content of the UK's “Towards the Indo-Pacific” policy including the goal of extensive presence and integration in the Indo-Pacific bilaterally and multilaterally.

Viet Nam and the UK have great potential for cooperation within the ASEAN framework in all three communities: Politics - Security, Economy and Culture-Society. Many areas of bilateral cooperation are also common priorities of ASEAN such as promoting the international system based on rules; maritime security; conflict prevention; human trafficking; women for peace and security; explosives left over from the war; climate change and environment protection.

Regarding economy, promoting free trade, building frameworks for investment cooperation, and ensuring a durable supply chain will be important issues post-Brexit and the Covid-19 which is creating supply chain disruptions across the globe.

The UK proposed to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership CPTPP (February, 2021), in which Viet Nam and three other ASEAN countries are members. Cooperation in education, training, science and technology are also strengths and potentials that the two sides need to promote when the UK is a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.

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