Disaster doesn’t discriminate against any country


Thanh Nien, Bonn, Germany

At the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the United Nations convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, Vietnam was identified as one of the countries most severely affected by climate change.

On November 16, Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan - Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and Head of the delegation attending COP23 - gave a speech on Vietnam's position in responding to climate change. At the forum, Mr. Nhan said, "Those who attended the recent APEC meeting have seen the severe destruction of Damrey Typhoon in central of Vietnam.” Damrey happened right before COP23 started, caused landslides and severe flooding. At least 106 people were killed, 25 are still missing and 197 injured.

Early November 2017  Southern and Central of Vietnam  The strongest typhoon in16 years, more than 40,000 houses damaged



Deputy Nhan said that Vietnam needs to take immediate actions to protect its people and their achievements from the increasingly severe effects of climate change by improving on adaptation, resistance and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent report by the think tank Germanwatch identified Vietnam as fifth among countries worst affected by climate change. It also cited unpredictable weather in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, such as typhoons one after another and nonstop flooding. The Intergovrnmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified more frequent and more severe storms and floods as one of the consequences of climate change.

Late 2015 to mid of 2016 in Vietnam, the worst and longest drought in the century Damages. Losses of millions hectares in crops, estimate total damage up to 670 millions dollars

The think tank pointed out that the United States ranks 10th among countries worst affected by climate change. Disastrous storms killed 267 people in that country this year alone, causing an estimated economic loss of about $ 47.4 billion, equivalent to 0.255% of GDP. Nine of the 10 worst affected countries are developing countries with low per capita incomes. However, the presence of US on the list showed that “even developed nations need to be more aggressive in dealing with the effects of climate change and take urgent actions to protect their interests," said David Eckstein – one of the report's authors. Around the world, in the 20 years from 1996 to 2016, natural disasters have caused the death of 520,000 people and economic losses of $3,160 billion.

Vietnam's contribution

According to Deputy Minister Vo Tuan Nhan, as a participant in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, Vietnam has been implementing a plan of actions with a specific focus on National Program Decision-Making (NDC) and the Paris Agreement. Vietnam has also started the NDC review. It will be completed by 2019.

The Vietnamese delegation also shared with other parties about an event that acted as a milestone for adaptation and response to climate change in Vietnam. The conference event took place in September about changing the sustainable development model and adaptation to climate change in the Mekong Delta - one of the largest rice growing areas in Southeast Asia which has been seriously affected by climate change.

At the summit, Vietnam pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% by 2030 compared to its normal emissions, making use of available energies efficiently, and developing clean energy to reduce emissions. And last but not least, increasing the area of ​​forest plantation to absorb CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

Many countries pledge not to use coal

On November 17, the last day of COP23, many voluntary commitments were made. Most notably, 20 countries have decided not to use coal after 2030 and there was the birth of an alliance against the use of coal. Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Italy, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Fiji and about 10 other countries have pledged to end their use of coal for power generation by 2030 by completely shutting down coal power plants. Members of the alliance include many US states, though Washington earlier announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement - an agreement that set out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2) to curb global warming. At COP23, the International Energy Agency said coal power plants produce nearly 40% of global electricity but are also producing carbon dioxide which is one of the major causes of air pollution and increasing the earth's temperature. Currently, China consumes half of the world's coal, followed by the United States, Europe, and India.