Vietnam, EU Forge Cooperation in Climate Change Response

Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh on February 18 agreed to strengthen collaboration in climate change adaptation
February 19, 2022 | 11:27
Vietnam, EU Forge Cooperation in Climate Change Response
Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh held talks on February 18. Photo: VGP

During their talks in Hanoi, Timmermans expressed his wish to step up cooperation with Vietnam in climate change response to implement outcomes of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, UK.

The EU attaches importance to the partnership and comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam, he said.

He hailed Vietnam’s commitments and efforts in materialising results of the COP26, saying the Southeast Asian nation has advantages and potential for clean and renewable energy development.

The EU supports and will work to promote cooperation with Vietnam through private investments, the EU’s resources and international financial resources, he pledged.

Timmermans also spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in handling illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), and said that the EU would soon send experts to the country to look into the work.

The two agreed to enhance collaboration in politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, development, agriculture, environment, energy, national defence and security, among others.

Thanh suggested the EU and its member countries create favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to enter the market, and called on the EC to back efforts to push ahead with the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement to boost bilateral economic ties.

He proposed the EU soon remove the “yellow card” warning in IUU fishing and help Vietnam improve its fishery management capacity, provide technical assistance and carry out solutions to fight illegal fishing.

Vietnam, EU Forge Cooperation in Climate Change Response
Vietnam strongly commits to climate change adaptation, with attention to the low-carbon economy. Photo: VNA

For cooperation in energy and environment, the Deputy PM reiterated Vietnam’s strong commitment to climate change adaptation, with attention to the low-carbon economy.

He called on the EU to support and cooperate with Vietnam in the fulfillment of commitments made at the COP26, especially the target of net zero emissions by 2050, and the building of a domestic carbon market.

Thanh suggested cooperation in projects in energy, transport, forest preservation, and technological transfer, and called on the EU to help Vietnam access financial and technological sources to realize the commitments and initiatives on emission reduction and climate change response.

Executive Vice President Timmermans is paying a visit to Vietnam from February 17-19 at the invitation of Deputy PM Thanh.

Promoting energy partnership

Vietnam, EU Forge Cooperation in Climate Change Response
At the working session between Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Executive Vice President of the European Commission (EC) Frans Timmermans. Photo: VNA

The same day, Timmermans had a meeting with Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, during which the two sides sought cooperation orientations in the future, especially in energy and power transformation, VietnamPlus said.

The minister asked for support from the EU, the leading partners with strong commitments and actions in climate change mitigation and green transformation, in the transformation of the growth model towards a green, circular and sustainable economy.

Both sides discussed many issues of shared concern such as the policy to adapt to climate change, plans to realize commitments at the COP26 and power transformation plans as well as the orientation for the development of the circular economy.

Dien said that Vietnam’s commitments at the COP26 showed the country’s determination to complete the target of switching from traditional fossil energy sources to green energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will prioritize the support to clean and renewable energy projects and is willing to coordinate with partners and donors from the EU, he said.

Sustainable development cooperation between the two sides has been implemented positively and efficiently over the years through the institutions within the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement he noted.

He said that it was Vietnam’s first deal related to sustainable development, which showed the country’s attention to finding a balance between trade and environmental protection.

Thanks to the EVFTA, Vietnam has favorable conditions to access modern technologies from the EU and draw more projects to speed up the growth of the green and digital economy as well as renewable energy, thus helping Vietnamese products meet technical and environmental requirements in the EU market, he said.

At the meeting, both sides expressed delight at the Vietnam-EU cooperation in economy, trade, and energy, and agreed to strengthen their partnership going forward.

The Vietnamese side proposed that the EU continue to support and give priority to technical and financial support and the transfer of technology to Vietnam, including the sustainable energy transformation program and the Vietnam Energy Partnership Group.

The EU is an important economic and development partner and the biggest non-refundable aid provider of Vietnam. It is also the country’s third-largest importer and sixth largest investor.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, last year, trade between Vietnam and the EU reached $57 billion in 2021, up 14.5% year-on-year, with Vietnam’s export revenue rising 14.2% to $40.1 billion.

The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that in the first year of implementing the EVFTA, the export revenue of products using the EUR.1 certificate of origin reached about $7.71 billion.

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