08:02 | 16/12/2013 Science - Technology
(VEN) - The French Development Agency (AFD) regards assistance in climate change mitigation as one of its targets of the operation strategy in Vietnam in the 2013-2015 period.
The French Development Agency has actively assisted Vietnam in implementing climate change response projects
Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries as a consequence of climate change. Due to the impact of climate change, sea levels could rise by one meter higher, potentially affecting nearly five percent of Vietnam’s land, 11 percent of its population, seven percent of agricultural land and slash 70 percent of the country’s GDP. The provinces in the Mekong and Red deltas as well as those in the coastal central region are the most affected regions.
In response to this potentially catastrophic situation in recent years, AFD has actively assisted Vietnam in building strategies and implementing climate change response projects. In the 2006-2012 period, AFD sponsored EUR342.5 million for 12 projects and development programs in Vietnam. The climate projects accounted for more than 43 percent of AFD’s total commitments to Vietnam during this period (equivalent to EUR786 million), focusing on areas such as urban development, energy, agriculture and management of water resources.
The projects under implementation are aimed at mitigating and avoiding 1.18 million tonnes of Carbon dioxide (CO2) per year in transportation and energy. For example, the Hanoi 12 km underground metro No3 line connecting Nhon and Hanoi will begin operations in 2018. The objective of the project is to promote the use of public transport in the city to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 20,000 tonnes a year.
AFD and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also co-sponsored the railway upgrading project connecting Yen Vien to Lao Cai to enhance transportation of goods by rail. This mean of transportation is more environmentally-friendly than road haulage and helps reduce about 40,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
To help Vietnam maintain the balance in power resources development and to offset the increasing number of coal-run thermal power plants, AFD also supported the development of hydropower plants, a clean source of energy on the basis of respect for environment and social good practices. A loan worth US$100 million was allocated to Vietnam Electricity Group to finance the 520MW capacity Huoi Quang hydroelectric project in the provinces of Lai Chau and Son La). The conclusion of carbon discharges of this project has been very positive, at 1,120,000 tonnes of C02 each year.
Apart from the transport and the energy sectors, AFD was also involved in agricultural projects and water management, as well as other efforts to improve responses to challenges of climate change in all economic sectors and strengthen national capability.
Based on the positive results achieved in the period 2006-2012, in the 2013-2015 period AFD will help Vietnam carry out a new growth model in the framework of the 2011-2015 socioeconomic development plan. Specifically, it will help improve the quality of public services in urban areas, focusing on water, energy, traffic, aiming to reduce pollution to a minimum. AFD will also support the modernization process of production sectors that have negative impacts on the environment and society, focusing on vocational training, developing financial institutions, in particular the People's Credit Fund and continue to assist Vietnam in the battle against climate change.
At a recently held press conference on the efforts of the state budget for climate change responses, AFD in Vietnam said it is willing to share experience and mobilize French expertise to help Vietnam achieve sustainable growth, higher social efficiency and protection of its natural resources./.
By Phuong Tam