Statement following visit of COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma to Viet Nam

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma visited Hanoi from 28-29 May 2021. During his visit, he met Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha, Viet Nam’s Chief Negotiator for climate change, and Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien.

Following an open and constructive exchange of views on climate change including adaptation, mitigation, climate finance and negotiation issues at COP26, the COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha released the following statement:

Both sides called for increased climate action in the lead up to the COP26 Summit, which will be held in Glasgow, in November, and agreed on the importance of further action after COP26.

Mr Sharma recognised Viet Nam’s particular vulnerability to the effects of climate change, and welcomed the commitment and engagement of Viet Nam, including at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Open Debate on Climate Change and Security, chaired by the UK Prime Minister Johnson in February 2021.

Both sides recognised the global efforts required to maintain momentum ahead of COP26 to tackle the urgent threat of climate change. Both sides agreed that it is vital for the world to act to limit average temperature rises to 1.5C by the end of the century, to avoid the worst effects of climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement. To achieve this the COP President Designate underlined the importance of all countries committing to achieving Net Zero emissions by the middle of the century, and with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) aligned with this.

Mr Sharma set out the UK’s ambitious NDC. They discussed the UK’s support to Viet Nam’s energy transition, including speeding up the development of its renewable energy sector. The UK and Viet Nam both welcomed recent announcements on reaching Net Zero emissions across the region, and Viet Nam confirmed its intention to reach Net Zero emissions as early as possible based on further international support. Vietnam affirmed its continuing policy of transitioning from a “brown” economy to one based on green, renewable energy with low carbon emissions, with a roadmap suitable to the country’s development needs and capacity. This should be accompanied by adequate technological and financial support from developed countries including the UK.

The UK reiterated its determination to support Viet Nam in its efforts on climate change, particularly adaptation and energy, through bilateral and multilateral frameworks to help deliver this target, including the Green Climate Fund and the COP26 Energy Transition Council that are aligning international support with Viet Nam’s needs. Mr Sharma welcomed the prospect of accelerating Viet Nam’s transition away from coal to clean and renewable energy under the upcoming Power Development Plan 8 (PDP8), building on Viet Nam’s recent investments in solar and wind energy which will create economic growth and sustainable jobs.

They also discussed adaptation and resilience, and the importance of nature-based solutions to tackle climate change. Mr Sharma welcomed Viet Nam’s commitment to planting one billion trees, and also its active consideration of signing up to the Adaptation Action Coalition.

They agreed that the international community should continue to support developing countries in improving their adaptation to the impacts of climate change and developed countries must meet their climate finance commitments under the Paris Agreement.

They agreed to continue to work closely this year ahead of COP26. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha stressed that Viet Nam would do its utmost possible to contribute to the success of COP26. And the UK as the host of COP26, will work closely with the Embassy of Viet Nam in the UK to facilitate Viet Nam’s participation at COP26 and looks forward to further bilateral cooperation.

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