Viet Nam has been told to strengthen its response to climate change by including strategic investment in a low-carbon future in its planning and budgeting strategy.
This was the message from a Climate Public Expenditure and Investment Review for 2010-13 announced at a meeting yesterday by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank.
It was issued after the report’s findings showed that the Government spent a limited amount of its own resources for climate change mitigation, including low-carbon energy generation (about VND4 billion equal to US$183,000) and energy efficiency measures (about VND76 billion equal to $348,000).
In the meantime, the report said about 88 per cent of the total budget for climate-change response during 2010-13 was spent for direct activities, such as building infrastructure, building dykes to protect coast and greening forest.
Nine per cent was directed towards science and technology development and three per cent for making policies and management activities related to climate-change response.
The total budget for climate-change respond during 2010-13 was about VND14.9 trillion (US$683 million).
In addition, experts said that although the Government dedicated a significant amount of spending on climate change activities as well as established political agenda through climate change and green growth strategies, the agenda had not realised its full potential, shortcoming were found – and some important activities remained underfunded.
Pham Hoang Mai, Director General of the ministry’s Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment Department, one of authors of the report, said that to integrate climate change into the budget, the country needed to introduce a climate budget.
In the long term, this budget could become a rolling programme based on an annually updated medium-term fiscal framework, he said.
Mai also said an important task would be to establish a strategic direction for climate-change response plans and expenditure in the social-economic development plan 2016-20.
Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Viet Nam, said that mainstreaming climate change into the budget would strengthen Viet Nam’s resilience against the impacts of a warming world, make communities less vulnerable, and tackle the emissions challenge as Viet Nam continued its journey toward a greener and prosperous future.
According to experts, Viet Nam’s greenhouse gas emissions and overall carbon intensity have significantly increased as a result of the economic expansion.
Statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment showed that greenhouse gas emissions rose from 103.8 millions tonnes of carbon dioxide to 246.8 million of tonnes between 1994 and 2010.
Thus, the report helped accelerate the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy, said Louise Chamberlain, Country Director for the United Nations Development Programme.