Ahead of the COP26 summit, local Vietnamese media Vietnam Investment Review’s Nguyen Thu talked with Kim Højlund Christensen, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, on the expectations of the summit and how Denmark supports climate change activities for Vietnam.
The COP 26 summit will be the most important climate conference since the Paris Agreement. Taking place in Glasgow, Scotland from 31 October, the summit will bring the world together to accelerate action on the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
According to Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen, all nations must fulfill the promise of the Paris Agreement and reduce their emissions to limit temperature rise to 1.5-degrees from pre-industrial levels. “However, we are not on track to achieve this, so we urgently need all countries to increase their ambitions for reducing emissions,” the Ambassador says. That’s why Denmark has committed to reducing its emissions by 70 percent by 2030, something that’s not only necessary but certainly also possible, he adds.
Being a small country Denmark is only responsible for a fraction of global emissions but as a developed country, Denmark has relatively high emissions per capita. The country has been working towards a green transition for many decades and has substantial experience and practical solutions to combat climate change. “We are committed to working with emerging economies, including Vietnam, to assist and support their own efforts to deal with climate change,” Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen says to VIR.
Talking about how Denmark has supported climate change activities in Vietnam, the Ambassador says that the cooperation between the two nations in the areas of energy and climate has been ongoing for many years, from traditional development cooperation to a full-fledged partnership. “In 2009, Denmark was the first country to support Vietnam’s National Target Programme on Climate Change. Since then, the Danish government has contributed some $140 million to finance climate change and green growth activities in Vietnam,” he says.
Elaborating on Denmark and Vietnam’s full-fledged partnership, the Ambassador says that the current Danish-Vietnamese Energy Partnership Programme was established in 2013 and that one of the products of this cooperation was the biennial Energy Outlook Report with scenarios for green development of the energy sector in Vietnam. “According to the 2021 report, Vietnam has great potential for a green transition, which by 2050 can save up to 320 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually compared to the current policy direction. This corresponds to removing annual CO2 emissions from 45 Vietnamese coal power plants,” Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen says.
“Denmark is keen to continue being a close and trusted partner to Vietnam in efforts to handle the challenges of securing energy for continued economic growth at competitive prices, while also dealing with the challenge of climate change. These goals go hand-in-hand with the ambitions towards combating climate change, and the green transition will have a big impact on Vietnam’s future exports and competitiveness,” the Ambassador concludes.
Read VIR’s full interview with Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen and much more on the matter here.