Experts warn about environmental pollution’s impacts on GDP growth hinh anh 1People dispose of dead fish found on the central coast (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Natural disasters and environmental pollution can reduce GDP by 0.6 percent per year from 2016-2020, according to the National Centre for  Socio-economic information and Forecast (NCIF) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Therefore, changes are needed to reduce the economy’s reliance on non-renewable energy.

Dr Dang Duc Anh, head of the Centre’s Analysis and Forecast Department, underlined the need for policies to help the economy better adapt to climate changes and to protect the environment in the long run.

According to NCIF, from 2016-2020, GDP growth is expected enter a new cycle of recovery, supported by free trade agreements, FDI enterprises and external demands. Economic restructuring and reforms of administration procedures and business climate will also contribute to boosting growth.

However, impacts of climate and environmental pollution will pose remarkable challenges to the economy, the centre said.

Vietnam is one of the 30 countries rated at “extreme risk” brought about by climate change by Maplecroft, a global risk and strategic consulting firm based in the UK, in its Climate Change Vulnerability Index within the next 30 years via 42 socio-economic and environmental factors.

Vietnam was ranked 23rd among 193 countries on the list.

Nguyen The Chinh, Director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, highlighted the environmental consequences caused by economic growth, investment attraction and population expansion.

Conflicts between economic growth and environmental protection have become more obvious. The quality of the environment has worsened. Environment-related incidents and disputes are increasing nationwide, Chinh said.

Experts pointed to the fact that although Vietnam has not seriously contributed to global warming, it is among the 25 low and middle-income countries that release the most greenhouse gases every year.

In order to reduce negative impacts of environmental factors on GDP growth, it’s crucial to conduct intensive studies on Vietnam’s GDP growth in medium term, with consideration of the environmental factor, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong.

The studies will provide early warnings, serving the design of policies on economic development, Phuong said.

Dr. Dang Duc Anh stressed the need for restructuring the economy in the direction of reducing industries relying on natural resources, particularly non-renewable source, and having low added values and economic efficiency.

On the other hand, incentives should be offered for industries using clean energy, such as natural gas, biofuel and renewable energy while issuing quota of polluting emission for enterprises, Anh suggested.

The legal framework on environmental protection needs to be improved, particularly punishments for violators.

Experts agreed that more comprehensive and intensive analysis on the interaction between economic growth and climate change, and how to enhance the ability of the economy to adapt to climate change.-VNA
Vũ Thị Phương source