A conference was held in Hanoi on April 23 by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, to collect opinions on evaluating investment activities and public spending on climate change.

Vietnam has joined a number of initiatives in accordance with the Convention of the United Nations (UN) and Kyoto Protocol on climate change. Many national policies have been revised to include climate change issues in environmental management work, biodiversity preservation and other interdisciplinary goals such as poverty reduction.

By now the country has received 1.2 billion USD in international aid for climate change adaptation. Experts say investment in this area is expected to increase, but policies and coordination capacity are lacking, creating a bottleneck in the implementation process.

According to Pham Hoang Mai, head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment, domestic investment in climate change response is still restricted.

However, experience in clean development and private investors’ response to energy efficiency and regenerative power indicate that an increase in investment is possible, Mai added.

Thomas Beloe, a UNDP representative, suggested that Vietnam should take a more proactive approach to climate change, particularly to promote green/low carbon development. He said the green development strategy, which Vietnam is working to build, will create a good foundation to put in place a strong policy framework as to climate change.

A tough challenge for developing countries, including Vietnam, is how to mobilise sufficient financial sources to deal with climate change, said Murray, a World Bank representative. Therefore, the country should classify climate change-related costs in order to improve the quality of spending on climate change response.-VNA