Vietnam has been gradually restructuring its energy sector along the director of shifting to renewable energy, with the goal of increasing the rate of renewable energy to 5 percent of total output by 2015 and 8 percent by 2020.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai informed this plan to Yvo De Boer, former Executive Secretary of the UN Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change, at a working session in Hanoi on Nov. 5.

Vietnam has issued strict regulations for factories to minimise adverse impacts on the environment, said the deputy PM, adding that all projects, whenever starting operations, are required to have initial environmental assessments and this will be a compulsory annual task.

According to Yvo, Vietnam can learn from the Republic of Korea and South Africa’s experiences in replacing traditional power resources with new and renewable energy.

He stressed that Vietnam needs to focus on five major issues to cope with climate change, including applying appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures; getting the involvement of all ministries, sectors and localities, developing a sustainable power sector by focusing on clean and renewable energy, mobilising and using all resources and creating efficient mechanisms for coordination.

He said in addition to ODA and aids from non-governmental international organisations, Vietnam needs to make use of the model of public-private partnership (PPP) cooperation in seeking funding for efforts coping with climate change.

The country should also raise public awareness of the need to practise energy saving, he said.

At a press briefing the same day, Yvo de Boer and his associate, Dennis Tirpak, former coordinator on climate change said Vietnam, with a large number of population living in a long coastline, has been facing challenges caused by climate change and sea rising level, requiring the country’s activeness in taking preventive measures.

They noted Vietnam’s contributions to minimising the green house effects globally, and at the same time asked the country to pay attention to using and developing energy effectively.

The two experts hailed Vietnam’s role in its capacity as ASEAN Chair in 2010, during which the country has organised and participated in regional and world’s climate change response forums./.