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Potential of Low-Carbon Development in Vietnam, from Practices to Legal Framework

Nguyen Tung Lam

Abstract Vietnam is not in the category of mandatory reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. However, when implementing the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, Vietnam has many opportunities to access financial resources, technology and capacity building from developed countries to develop in a sustainable manner toward a green economy with low carbon and contribute to efforts to reduce global GHG emissions. Vietnam should prioritize the sectors for GHG reduction while ensuring the objectives of economic growth, employment, and economic development.

The GHG emissions in the energy and agriculture, forestry and land use (AFOLU) sectors are two of the greatest GHG emissions. Policies to reduce GHG emissions also have negative and unintended effects. Therefore analysis and evaluation of the externalities of policies and measures to reduce GHG emissions are essential. The negative externalities are considered as indirect costs of GHG emission reduction measures, therefore they are important when considering the priority of GHG emission reduction.

International experience of accessing low-carbon development programs from low-carbon development research is a valuable reference for Vietnam. The Asia Pacific Integrated Model (AIM model) to project GHG emission scenarios helps to identify priority sectors that have high potential in reducing GHG and less effects on the development targets. Accordingly, for developing countries like Vietnam, when the budget is not abundant and also to serve multiple objectives of other urgent development, GHG emission reductions in selected priority sectors and actionable measures need less investment and other negative impacts on socioeconomic development targets.

Research has contributed to the development of GHG emission reduction policies in Vietnam. It is considered as an important basis for construction, adjustment, and additional amendment of the legal system, mechanisms and policies to promote GHG emission reduction activities in industry and other sectors.

Keywords Vietnam • Low-carbon development • AIM model • GHG emission reduction • Mitigation

Key Message to Policy Makers

• In Vietnam, priority sectors should be identified to reduce investment for GHG reduction.

• Great potential exists in the energy, waste and AFOLU sectors in Vietnam.

• Both positive and negative effects of GHG emission reduction policies are identified.

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