Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved an update to Vietnam’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that seeks to reduce carbon emissions by 83.9 million tons instead of the earlier 62.7 million tons through indigenous efforts.
This could be further increased to 27 percent, or 250.8 million tons, with international support.
The NDCs present countries’ efforts and commitments to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris Agreement. Countries are required to update their NDCs with more ambitious targets for emissions reduction every five years under the treaty.
Vietnam’s updated NDC also includes pledges to increase the nation’s capability to adapt to climate change through better governance and preparedness against natural disasters due to climate change.
A study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture last year said Vietnam could cut greenhouse emissions through various mitigation measures like more efficient land use practices and better management of livestock diets.
If all suggested measures are taken, 51 percent of Vietnam’s projected emissions in 2030 could be eliminated, it said.
Vietnam is ranked third highest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in Southeast Asia after Indonesia and Thailand.
It is also one of six economies most affected by climate change between 1999 and 2018, according to the Global Climate Risk Index published last year by German environmental think tank Germanwatch.
Over the last 50 years Vietnam’s average annual surface temperature has increased by 0.5-0.7 degrees Celsius, and sea levels have risen by approximately 20 centimeters.
The U.N. has warned that if sea levels rise by one meter, Vietnam will face a loss of $17 billion a year, with one fifth of its population or some 18 million becoming homeless and 12.3 percent of farmlands disappearing.
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