Green economy has been a common trend in the global economic system. As a developing country, Vietnam needs to continue studying and perfecting relevant mechanisms and policies while learning lessons from the experience of other front-running countries to bridge the gap with advanced economies and move towards a green economy in the near future, the Nhan Dan (People) online newspaper reported.

Associate Professor Dr. Nguyen The Chinh, deputy head of the Institute of Strategy and Policy in Natural Resources and Environment, states that green economy and environmental protection are two different categories with different connotations, but that they are tending towards each other to form a popular category – sustainable development – which is being widely applied in every field.

The ‘Agenda 21’ action plan on sustainable development was initiated at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since then, the world community has been making concerted efforts to bring this programme into reality.

So far, the Vietnamese government has passed more than 33 laws and 20 ordinances related to environmental protection including the Biodiversity Law, the Law on Forest Protection and Development, the Land Law, the Law on Water Resources and the Minerals Law. These legal documents have been widely and deeply implemented across the country with a harmonious combination between environmental protection and socio-economic development.

In addition, many directives and resolutions have also been promulgated to promote environmental protection in line with each of the nation’s development periods.

Recently, the seventh plenum of the 11th Party Central Committee issued Resolution No. 24-NQ/TW on actively coping with climate change, enhancing natural resource management and protecting the environment, with a focus on shifting the growth model attached to restructuring the economy towards green growth and sustainable development.

Regarding the environmental protection issue, the resolution laid emphasis on developing the environmental economy by fostering the environmental industry, environmental protection services and sewage recycling, and by promoting socialisation in environment protection, the use of renewable energies as well as sustainable production and consumption.

In fact, the green economy is still a relatively new concept in Vietnam, requiring study and the popularisation of related knowledge to leaders, policymakers, enterprises and residents.

Green economy usually entails using renewable energy, building a low-carbon society, revitalising the ecosystem and addressing livelihoods associated with environmental restoration.

The upgrade of Vietnam’s production technologies, most of which are outdated and consume excessive energy, in line with a green economy will surely be a tough challenge for the country without the financial and technological assistance of developed countries. The difficulty in mobilising capital has greatly hindered Vietnam’s implementation process towards a green economy.

According to experts, the government should create favourable conditions for renovating the growth model – giving priority to developing high-tech industries with low carbon emissions and environmentally friendly technologies, using economical energies and natural resources, and restoring the ecological system.

Investment in technological and scientific research also needs to be increased, along with enhanced co-operation in fields relating to the connotations of a green economy such as the use of renewable energy, resource-saving and energy-saving production technologies, greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies, and the reduction of environmental pollution.

Land use planning must also be renovated in the direction of sparing enough land funding for afforestation, freshwater preservation and construction of environmental infrastructure in accordance with international standards.

Experts stress the need to create a high consensus among leaders, enterprises and the people on green economy. It is also necessary to boost international co-operation in building a green economy in Vietnam.-VNA