CCWG Position Paper on Climate Change Mitigation

On its path towards becoming an industrialized country by the new decade, Vietnam has made significant improvements regarding poverty and social welfare over the last years, but this development has also spurred greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to increase steeply: in 2013, emissions were 3.5 times as high as compared to 1991. According to forecasts, CO2 emission in Vietnam will have tripled by 2030 compared to 2010 if the current development trajectory continues without enhanced mitigation efforts.

Awareness has grown among Vietnamese policy makers and citizens for the immediate need to shift the domestic economy towards a low-emission growth path to avoid an emission-intensive lockin. Accordingly, mitigation actions (along with disaster risk management strategies and adaptation measures) have been formulated and started to be implemented, which have opened new flows of funding, knowledge, and opportunities.

Thereby, the focus is mostly placed on the reduction potential regarding atmospheric GHG concentration and the cost effectiveness of the respective activities (e.g. carbon abatement cost curves). So far, there has been little debate in Vietnam, and only punctually globally, on how mitigation actions might benefit the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

More emphasis needs to be placed on deploying the high potential of climate mitigation to improve life and livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable. This is especially serious as exposure to climaterelated risks in Vietnam is especially high and the country has been declared as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change worldwide. Hence, for many of the poor communities, the situation is worsened by an increasing number of environmental shocks that result from climate change.

Politicians and citizens need to understand the links between mitigation actions and the welfare of the poor and most vulnerable in Vietnam.vii Though essential for the sustainability of any mitigation intervention, this topic falls widely short in academia and practice.