Vietnam’s climate change fight focuses on adaptation

Vietnam 's response to climate change will focus on adaptation, which will be mainly funded by State budget.

Vietnam 's response to climate change will focus on adaptation, which will be mainly funded by State budget.

Other approach to climate change, mitigation, will be open for engagement by the private sector as it concerns technology changes, and low-carbon energy technologies in particular.

These remarks were made by Truong Duc Tri, Deputy Director of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change at the press briefing on the national action plan for climate change in 2010-20 held in Hanoi on April 17.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved 61 climate change projects that aim to deal with urgent matters, with 15 projects of which receiving funding from the State to start their working plans, Tri announced.

Vietnam has also received considerable amounts of international support. From 2010 to 2012, aid for climate change stood at 500 million USD and Vietnam was expected to receive an additional amount of 830 million USD.

Tri said that since the first script about climate change and sea level rise for Vietnam by the end of this century was introduced in 2009, there has been an increased awareness about the seriousness of the issue across different stakeholders in the country, particularly local authorities.

Forty-five provinces out of the total 63 have finished compiling their action plans to cope with climate change.

While it was clear to climate change experts that Vietnam would opt for adaptation, some experts have expressed their concern that the country may overuse hard-engineering solutions, particularly in constructing dykes, and suggested Vietnam focus on "no-regret" strategies.

Responding to this, Director of Vietnam's Institute of Meteorology , Hydrology and Environment Tran Thuc said that while the hard-engineering approach was obviously important in coping with climatic changes and had in fact been adopted on a large scale, it was not true that Vietnam had abused that approach.

Thuc said in addition to this, other options were deployed, such as soft techniques which relied on natural systems, and the country is planning to expand the mangrove area along the coastal lines in the south.

At the press briefing, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment Nguyen Van Thang said in the latest climate change script in 2012, climate change maps were presented in low, medium and high emission scenarios.

A new component to the updated version included inundation maps, initially developed for the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City , for the Red River Delta in the north as well as for coastal provinces in the central region.

The results showed that with a one-metre sea level rise, the risk of inundation was high for more than 10 percent of the Red River Delta and Quang Ninh province, 2.5 percent of coastal provinces in the central region, more than 20 percent of the HCM City area and 39 percent of the Mekong Delta.

More than 4 percent of the railway system, 9 percent of national roads and 12 percent of provincial roads of Vietnam were also likely to be affected.

Thuc said the script will be updated again in 2015, one year after the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the global and regional climate change scenarios in its 5th assessment.

Vietnam has been using IPCC reports as a benchmark for its analysis.-VNA

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