Denmarks Helping Hand For Climate Change

With the
Copenhagen-based Danida Board having just recently approved a new $ 40 million
climate change programme for Vietnam
to assist the country in it climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts,
Danish ambassador to Vietnam Peter Lysholt Hansen explains to VIR´s Thu Ha why
the Nordic government is so concerned about this burning global issue.

    “Given a lot of burning environmental problems facing Vietnam today,
which are caused by various hazardous gases and solid substances, why does the
Danish government focus on assisting Vietnam to deal with the climate change
issues, which chiefly involve green house gases”?

    “Denmark has for many years given support to
the environment sector in Vietnam
and continues to do so. Actually, Denmark is supporting a comprehensive
environment program (around USD 10 million) covering pollution control in poor
densely populated area, environmentally sustainable development in poor urban
areas, cleaner production in industries, and development of marine protected
areas”.

    “With the
future support for climate change adaptation and mitigation Denmark adds a new dimension to its development
cooperation with Vietnam.
Vietnam
itself at present is not a significant producer of green house gases which are
to a large extend responsible for climate change. However, with it long coastal
line and large areas of lowland Vietnam
is one of the most vulnerable countries in the World to climate change. And
climate change is certainly a development issue which threatens the achievement
of the Millennium Development Goals. Therefore it is most welcomed that the
Government of Vietnam fully recognizes the importance of dealing with this
issue on an urgent basis”.

    “Despite
rich local knowledge and experience at grass root level in dealing with
disasters, climate change work including research, technologies and financing
is new in Vietnam.
At the same time climate change is not generally well understood. Climate change
is not only about traditional disaster phenomenon’s ( storms, floods and
droughts) but also about abnormality of weather/climate, uncertainty of abrupt
climate events ( South moving storms, changing path-ways of cyclones, extreme
rainfall and temperatures) and the possible consequences for diseases and
cropping patterns ect”.

    “There is no
doubt that the poor families whether they are dependent on farming or fisheries
will be hardest hit.

Denmark wants to help Vietnamese
authorities and poor families to cope with this challenge”.

    “With Danish official aids to Vietnam in this regard seeming to
be mostly technical assistance, how efficiently are the aids implemented so
far”?

    “Denmark is in the forefront in Vietnam when it
comes to aid harmonization and effectiveness and has been moving rapidly
towards aligning to Vietnamese Government system and regulations instead of
creating parallel systems and norms. The new Danish support to climate change
adaptation and mitigation will also be aligned to Government priorities and
systems and will be sector budget support to the following two national
programs: 1) National Target Programme on responding to climate change and the
National Programme on Energy Efficiency. The funds will be managed by
government authorities at national and local levels for serving their needs and
priorities”.

    “The use of
Technical Assistance will therefore to a large extend be decided by the
Vietnamese authorities. We have agreed with the Vietnamese authorities that an
international advisor will be placed at the central level and one in each of
the provinces of Quang Nam
and Ben Tre where the program will work at the local level to gain experiences.
However, the major part of the program which totals approximately USD 40
million will be channelled through Government of Vietnam systems”.

    Are there any mechanisms for Vietnam’s private sector, which is
struggling to upgrade their technologies to be more environmental friendly,
access the Danish official aids, which is considered of lower borrowing costs”?

    “A very
important part of the ongoing environmental program support is the introduction
of cleaner technology in Vietnamese industries and here the Vietnamese private
sector benefits directly. In Danish support to the National Programme on Energy
Efficiency the private sector will be able to access assistance from energy
efficiency investment funds and also for energy audits in their companies as
well as training of energy efficiency managers for the factory and labelling of
their products etc”.

    “The modalities
for the National Target Program on Climate Change have not yet been developed. However,
the Government of Vietnam
recognizes the role of the private sector in working on cleaner and low carbon
technologies and as agents for climate change adaptation technologies”.

 “Does the Danish government plan further ODA packages for Vietnam to deal
with the climate change issues in particular and environmental protection in
general”?

    “As the
present Danish program support for environment is ongoing until at least 2010
and the new climate change program has just been approved for a five year
period no specific new packages are being planned at present. However, Denmark foresees to continue it support to Vietnam in
these areas in the future”.

 

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