Vietnam’s Strong Commitment to Green Goals: Insight from Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Solbakken

Vietnam's remarkable efforts in the green transition process, towards a green economy and green energy have left a lasting impression on Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Solbakken.

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store on the sidelines of the COP28 in the UAE on December 1, 2023. Photo: VGP

Vietnam and Norway have established a strong partnership in various sectors, including green economy and green energy. Considering the Vietnam-Norway relations, what can be said about the outcomes of the recently-concluded 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai?

During COP28, Vietnam unveiled its resource mobilization plan for the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which took place in Dubai.

This marks a significant milestone in fulfilling the commitments outlined in this critical document. It also showcases Vietnam’s unwavering dedication and proactive steps towards achieving its net zero emissions target.

Norway remains committed to collaborating closely with the JETP’s International Partners Group (IPG) and the Vietnamese government in advancing this initiative.

At COP28, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store met with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store commended Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan’s recent visit to Norway as a catalyst for enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

The two leaders engaged in fruitful discussions on various issues and emphasized the importance of reinforcing bilateral relations in critical areas such as renewable energy development, particularly offshore wind power, green economy, and trade.

Besides, the two nations have been closely coordinating in these domains. We are extending support to the Vietnamese government in marine spatial planning, leveraging Norwegian expertise in integrated ocean management, and fostering private sector engagement.

Norwegian Ambassador Hilde Solbakken discussing Vietnam’s green transformation endeavors with reporters. Photo: KT

Vietnam has implemented several policies aimed at energy transition, including prioritizing the use of renewable energy sources. How do you evaluate these efforts by Vietnam?

Vietnam has been actively implementing its commitments towards green transition and net zero objectives.

Norway highly commends Vietnam’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, as well as Vietnam signing the JETP with G7 countries, Norway, and Denmark last year. Combating climate change and achieving a just energy transition necessitate robust and effective collaborations.

The government of Vietnam has approved the national electricity development plan, also referred to as the 8th electricity plan, which charts a path towards transitioning to green energy.

Vietnam made noteworthy preparations for COP28 this year. The resource mobilization plan serves as a crucial initial step in the implementation of JETP.

In a joint press release, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store expressed support for Vietnam’s resource mobilization plan for JETP, stating that “Norway is ready to invest, share experiences, and offer expertise.”

For many years, Vietnam has been at the forefront of renewable energy growth in the ASEAN region. What must the Vietnamese government do to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050?

First and foremost, climate change is a global challenge, and numerous nations worldwide, including Norway, are pursuing their own green transition pathways. Each country understands its unique goals and priorities within its national context.

Vietnam possesses immense potential for developing and harnessing renewable energy due to its favorable geographical location. Its long coastline and abundant wind resources create favorable conditions for offshore wind power development, positioning Vietnam as a regional leader in renewable energy.

As one of the early movers in renewable energy, Norway wishes to impart a vital lesson for ensuring success.

An open and constructive dialogue among the government, private sector, and key stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, is crucial.

Listening to people’s opinions and engaging relevant organizations is essential for ensuring the sustainability and longevity of policies, regulations, and renewable energy investments.

We hope that this experience can prove valuable to Vietnamese policymakers.

Vietnam has effectively identified its immediate challenges in this process. We commend Vietnam’s emphasis on bolstering the existing institutional framework and crafting new or amended regulations accordingly. This establishes a solid foundation for domestic and foreign investors to channel capital into renewable energy infrastructure. It is a commendable step forward.

Rosie Nguyen