Vietnam cleaning up its act with new agenda

10:43 | 03/01/2020 Energy

(VEN) - The Asia-Pacific region is a major global manufacturing workshop, resulting in higher consumption of materials, fuel and energy and more environmental pollution. Vietnam has drafted a blueprint to contend with the challenge in the coming decade.

vietnam cleaning up its act with new agenda

Major environmental, social challenges

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MoIT) draft national action plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) until 2030 sets out targets for cleaner production and sustainable consumption. The program not only encourages state management agencies, businesses, organizations and individuals to apply science and technology and change management methods with those goals in mind, it also changes and shapes consumer behavior relevant to sustainable consumption in Vietnam.

The targeted goals of the plan are expected to contribute to achieving Vietnam’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The MoIT and Switch-Asia, a European Union program to promote greener economies, recently held a policy dialogue on reporting implementation progress of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Addressing the meeting, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said Asia is confronting major environmental and social challenges. From 2000 to 2017, primary fuel consumption in the region increased at the fastest pace in the world, significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution in many countries.

In order to harmonize economic growth goals with social and environmental issues, the Vietnamese government has approved several specific policies and strategies. “Since 2009, the government has approved some national action plans on cleaner production and energy efficiency,” said Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong. “In 2016, the National Action Plan on Consumption and Production until 2020, with a vision to 2030 adopted and the MoIT was assigned to lead the task. So far, 63 provinces and cities have opened cleaner production and energy saving support centers.”

Energy efficiency and conservation

According to the ministry’s Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development Department, the MoIT has initiated various SCP programs, such as the national program on energy efficiency and conservation for the 2019-2030 period, the strategy on cleaner production in the 2009-2020 period, and SCP action plans for the 2006-2020 and 2021-2030 periods. Close coordination among relevant ministries and sectors have yielded significant results, according to the department.

For example, in accordance with the strategy on cleaner production, 47 centers with nearly 500 advisors across the country are providing advisory and support activities for cleaner production. In addition, 45 provinces and cities have issued plans to implement the cleaner production strategy; and about VND150 billion was spent on cleaner production activities.

The head of the EU delegation to Vietnam, Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, told participants at the meeting that the said SCP will help improve the overall environment and product outputs throughout their life cycle, stimulate demand and help consumers make smart choices. The EU is committed to addressing these global challenges with partners in Asia and Central Asia, he added. So far, the Switch-Asia program has been widely implemented in 24 Asian countries.

The MoIT and Switch-Asia are seeking opinions and recommendations to complete the draft national action program on SCP for the 2020-2030 period. The MoIT then will revise it and consult with ministries, sectors, and experts before submitting it to the government.

Lan Anh