Vietnam and Cambodia: Leveraging Support to Enhance Climate Ambition

By Say Samal and Trần Hồng Hà
WASHINGTON DC, Nov 19 2020 (IPS)

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted nearly every facet of our
lives and delayed what was slated to be a landmark Conference of
the Parties (COP26). This pivotal year marks the first due date for
countries to submit revised national climate plans per the
five-year cycle required by the Paris Agreement. Remarkably,
countries are still moving forward with renewed urgency. And many
countries are integrating green recovery into their COVID-19
responses, further contributing to climate action. While many
countries have positive stories to tell, both of our nations,
Vietnam and Cambodia, are sterling examples of nations taking
strong, decisive action, particularly with support through the NDC
Partnership. Just last month, the people of Vietnam submitted their
updated national climate plan and, in short order, the people of
Cambodia will do likewise.

Our success is a testament to our deep national commitment to
climate action, which has been bolstered by support through the NDC
Partnership and its Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP). CAEP
is an enabling initiative that has helped to quickly match our
climate ambitions to much needed support, at an especially
difficult time for all countries and the global climate agenda.
CAEP builds on and complements support from other development
partners by delivering targeted, fast-track support to our
countries, which enables us to enhance the quality, increase the
ambition, and more effectively implement our nationally determined
contributions (NDCs). Much like the current pandemic, CAEP’s
strength is underpinned by its collaborative spirit and the need
for multilateral cooperation. Through the technical and financial
support of 46 partners, CAEP is currently supporting both our
nations—and 61 others—to enhance NDCs in the lead up to
COP26.

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While this support came at a critical time, we’re mindful of the
need for even greater support to effectively act on our robust
climate commitments. Both our nations, like many others, live with
climate impacts on a daily basis. The real and projected impacts on
our populations and economies underpins the urgency with which we
have acted and continue to act.

Vietnam

Vietnam’s potential climate hazards are expected to increase
significantly under the impacts of climate change, such as sea
level rise and saltwater intrusion. In fact, the Mekong Delta is
one of the most vulnerable to sea level rise among the world’s
deltas. In addition, agriculture, natural ecosystems, biodiversity,
water resources, public health, and infrastructure are all at-risk
sectors. The most vulnerable groups of people are the poor, ethnic
minorities, the elderly, women, children, and people with
disabilities. All these factors make addressing climate change a
priority of critical national importance.

To meet our current and future challenges, Vietnam’s updated
NDC identifies economy-wide mitigation measures for the period
2021-2030, spanning the energy, agriculture, waste, land use, land
use change and forestry, and industrial sectors. The plan is
distinct because it tackles greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing
industrial processes and increasing our unconditional emission
reduction target to nine percent below by 2030, combined with a
change in baseline, this results in a 34 percent drop in emissions
compared to our previous target. Moreover, Vietnam’s conditional
emissions reduction target is now 27 percent (250.8 million
tCO2e)—52.6 million tons of CO2e more than the emissions target
in our first NDC submitted in 2015.

Vietnam’s updated NDC also includes robust adaptation
components, directly linking to the National Adaptation Plan, and
issues such as loss and damage, health, gender equality, and child
protection. Alongside these strengthened mitigation and adaptation
components, the updated NDC features new elements and significantly
improves the means of implementation. As a people deeply committed
to climate action, Vietnam is working to mainstream its national
climate plan with socioeconomic development plans and strategies
and draws overarching and discrete linkages with the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs).

Our climate achievements to-date were also strengthened by
longstanding partners such as the Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), primarily on mitigation and
adaptation, respectively. Although the updated NDC takes effect
next year, it is already informing our actions. By leveraging
support through the NDC Partnership’s CAEP, delivered by the
World Bank, the World Resources Institute (WRI), and the SNV Dutch
Development Organisation, Vietnam is translating its NDC at
provincial levels by mainstreaming targets in socioeconomic
development plans. As part of these efforts, SNV is developing
model approaches and a gender-sensitive framework for mainstreaming
NDC targets and actions in these provincial plans.

This broad support is welcomed, and we’re banking on the
support of all our government agencies, the private sector, and
Vietnamese across communities to deliver on our commitments. This
includes our 2021 target for incorporating the long-term, low
greenhouse gas (GHG) emission requirements encouraged under Article
4 of the Paris Agreement.

Cambodia

Like Vietnam, its neighbor to the east, Cambodia is highly
vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Our most affected
sectors are agriculture, infrastructure, forestry, human health,
and coastal zones. Rising temperatures are leading to increased
frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in an already
fragile socioeconomic context.

While registering only a very small fraction of global GHG
emissions, Cambodia’s emissions have been trending upwards in
tandem with its development progress. At the same time, the impacts
of climate change are expected to reduce Cambodia’s average GDP
growth by 2.5 percent in 2030 and by 9.8% in 2050.

Cambodia is responding to this challenge. We have committed to
lowering emissions and our updated NDC will reflect improved
mitigation targets and adaptation actions. Our commitments will
focus on a wide array of sectors, including agriculture, forestry
and other land uses, transport and health, among others.
Cross-cutting issues such as gender, youth engagement, and private
sector involvement will be hallmarks of our strategy. Finally, an
analysis on how the NDC can impact SDG achievement is also being
undertaken.

CAEP support delivered through the Partnership by UNDP and the
World Bank has ensured that Cambodia’s NDC update is robust and
consistent with prevailing commitments. Our climate plan is now
informed by progress made on current NDC targets, and reflect
commitments made in national and sectoral strategies adopted since
the approval of our initial NDC in 2015. We will also conduct
additional analyses, including with the latest emissions data, and
prepare cost estimates for proposed sectoral NDC targets and
actions.

This truly Cambodian approach will also strengthen technical
capacity for the Ministry of Environment, the National Council for
Sustainable Development and other relevant ministries. This will
provide critical support throughout the NDC updating process and
help improve ministries’ understanding of how climate change can
be better integrated into their work over the longer term.

The Cambodian people and government are proud to own this
process, which helps secure our development goals. We will
strengthen measurement, reporting, and verification arrangements to
improve monitoring and reporting on NDC implementation, including
by establishing an online portal. The online NDC tracking system
spotlights information on mitigation, adaptation, GHG inventory,
support received and needed, as well as baselines, targets, and
indicators received from ministries. A similar online NDC portal is
being set up by our neighbors, Vietnam.

As a unique country-driven initiative, the NDC Partnership’s
work empowers countries like ours to meet our climate ambitions,
which drives forward collective action. CAEP is one of our
strongest sources of support to achieve our climate and development
goals, and as we are seeing in both Vietnam and Cambodia, the
program is producing strong impacts in helping our societies
enhance climate ambition, going further than would otherwise be
possible.

 

The post
Vietnam and Cambodia: Leveraging Support to Enhance Climate
Ambition
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Excerpt:

Say Samal, Minister of Environment,
Cambodia

Trần Hồng Hà, Minister of Natural Resources
and Environment, Vietnam

The post
Vietnam and Cambodia: Leveraging Support to Enhance Climate
Ambition
appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News
Vietnam and Cambodia: Leveraging Support to Enhance Climate
Ambition