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Climate Change Policy In Vietnam Environmental Sciences

Essay add: 14-11-2017, 20:16   /   Views: 4

According to World Bank (WB), in 2008, Vietnam is considered to be a poor country with a GDP per capita of $1,040. In terms of environment, Vietnam contributes little to climate change with only 0.4% of total Green House Gases (GHGs) emission of the world (UN, 2009). However, Vietnam is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change (WB, 2008)

The economic renovation in 1986 which had changed the picture of Vietnam's economy, transformed one of the world's five poorest economies to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. However, gradual changes such as sea level rises, more severe disaster will have devastating impacts on Vietnamese economy. The impressive economic achievement will be at risk. There is now claim for a new renovation in social-economic-environment in order to respond to climate change.

This paper attempts to investigate the necessary of Vietnam to response to climate change and what responses really make sense to Vietnam.

Vietnam's economics and the energyEconomics characteristics and the shift of economic sectors

In the 1980s, Vietnam was one of the world's five poorest countries with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capital in 1985 recorded US$130 per year (WB, 2004).

In December 1986, policy reform named Doi Moi ("renovation") was established. This was considered to be a revolution of Vietnam economy which was transformed from socialist planned economy into a free market economy. After several years, the policy achieved positive results. The average annual rate of real economic growth from 1988 to 2000 was 7.1%. The poverty ratio in Vietnam decreased from 58.1% in 1993 to 18.1% in 2006 (ADB, 2007). At the end of 2008, Vietnamese Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capital was US$ 1,040 per year (IMF, 2009). Since the early 1990s, Vietnam became the world's third largest exporter of rice, and since the late 1990s, it became the second largest exporter of coffee. The poverty ration in Vietnam decreased from 58.1% in 1993 to 18.1% in 2006 (ADB, 2007). Since 2000, Vietnam has been one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

In terms of economic sectors, Vietnam has 3 main sectors as industry, agriculture and service in 1990s (Statistics Documentation Centre, 2009). Those tables below show the growth and contribution of economic sectors to GDP in this period.

Table 1.1: Growth in GDP per Annum by Sectors (%)1990199119921993199419951996199719981999Industry and Construction

2.3

7.7

12.8

12.6

13.4

13.6

14.5

12.6

8.3

7.7

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

1.0

2.2

6.9

3.3

3.4

4.8

4.4

4.3

3.5

5.2

Services

10.2

7.4

7.6

8.6

9.6

9.8

8.8

7.1

5.1

2.3

Table 1.2: Contribution of the Sectors to GDP (%)1990199119921993199419951996199719981999Industry and Construction

22.67

23.79

27.26

28.90

28.87

28.76

29.73

32.08

32.49

34.50

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

38.74

40.49

33.94

29.87

27.43

27.18

27.76

25.77

25.78

25.43

Services

38.59

35.72

38.80

41.23

43.70

44.06

42.51

42.15

41.73

40.07

Source: Statistics Documentation Centre - General Statistics Office of Vietnam, 2009

It is noticeable that there were some shifts in economic structure in this period. Services and industry generated a higher percentage of GDP while the proportion of agriculture decreased gradually. However, the financial crisis in 1997 has made huge impacts on industry and services, put their growth down and hold back the shift.

Since 2000, the shift continued. Services have a steady rise from 5.6% to 7.5 %, whereas agriculture fluctuated around 4%.

Table 1.3: GDP Growth Rate by Sectors20002001200220032004200520062007Prel. 2008Industry and Construction

36.73

38.13

38.49

39.47

40.21

41.02

41.54

41.48

39.73

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

24.53

23.24

23.03

22.54

21.81

20.97

20.40

20.34

22.10

Services

38.74

38.63

38.48

37.99

37.98

38.01

38.06

38.18

38.17

Source: Statistics Documentation Centre - General Statistics Office of Vietnam, 2009

The shift of economic sectors reflects the rapidly development of Vietnam economy toward an industrial economy. The industrial sector which relies heavily on energy has had a bigger growth than other sectors since 1990.

Per capital income

In addition, living standard improving has created strong household demand of energy.

Energy problems

As many developing countries, with the government's effort of enhancing the progress, Vietnam is facing a challenge that the country has to overcome, unless they will not be able to maintain their achievements. Vietnam seeks … to … its energy consumption.

Indeed, there is a steady increase of energy consumption in recent years:

Source: International Energy Statistics, U.S. DOE (2006)

With the large demand, Vietnamese energy production is put in a huge pressure. If the energy demand is not satisfied, Vietnam's economic growth which maintains at 7.3% over the last ten years must reduce.

Figure 1.2 (EIA, 2007) illustrates that Vietnam…

However, it is noticeable that the net export of petroleum has dropped sharply since 2004 from nearly 170 to over 20 thousand barrels per day. It is predicted that if the trend remains, Vietnam will back to be a petroleum importing country as before 1990 in the next few years

Figure 1.2: Net Exports/Imports of Petroleum in Vietnam

Sources: EIA, International Energy Annual, US, August 2009

To avoid this, the country has increased exploration activities, encouraged greater foreign company involving in the oil and natural gas sectors, as well as introduced market reforms aimed at strengthening energy industry. However, over two recent decades, Vietnam has emerged a big regional producer of oil and natural gas in Southeast Asia. Oil production of Vietnam is even higher than Thailand and over 65% of Australia, a 23 times bigger country in term of area (Figure 1.3).

Figure 1.3: Top Asia-Pacific Oil Producers, 2006*

Moreover, fossil fuels are limited resources and using them can lead to environment related problems. Exploration enhancement may not be enough for a long-term effective solution.

In other hand, Vietnam's energy intensities are extremely high. According to 2006 IEA report, to generate USD 1,000 of GDP, Vietnam had used 1.08 tons of oil equivalent, 1.5 times more than Thailand (Table 1.4) and 3 times more than world average (0.3 tons of oil equivalent).

Table 1.4: TPES/Population and TPES/GDP in 2006CountryTPES/Population

(toe/capita)

TPES/GDP

(toe/thousand 2000 US$)

Australia

5.90

0.25

USA

7.74

0.21

China

1.43

0.90

India

0.51

0.80

Thailand

1.63

0.63

Vietnam

0.62

1.08

Sources: EIA statistic, 2006

It is very noticeable that Vietnam is still a developing agricultural country, with over 75% of population working in agriculture sector, but the country's TPES/GDP is much higher than developed countries such as USA and Australia. On the other hand, Vietnam's TPES/Population is relatively low. All of those reflect a fact that Vietnam operates with high energy intensity.

This problem is also mentioned in the latest meeting of Vietnam Standing Committee of the National Assembly. "Vietnam energy efficiency is extremely low, our energy intensity is 1.5 to 1.7 times higher than Thailand and Malaysia. As a result, we have to use 1.5 to 1.7 times more energy than the two countries do to make a same product" (Minister Vu Huy Hoang, Ministry of Industry and Trade, September 2009). "If the energy efficiency is not improved, the energy industry must have a growth of 14-15% per year to maintain the GDP growth 6-8% per year" (a report of the committee of Science, Technology and Environment, National Assembly of the S.R. Vietnam, September 2009). (Hung, 2007)

In short, it can be said that the low energy efficiency is really a barrier preventing Vietnam from maintaining current developing growth. The government's efforts on enhancing oil and coal exploration may be never enough if energy productions are still not used in smart ways. For a more effective solution, breaking the barrier of energy efficiency should be put in the top priority to solve the problem of future energy shortage.

Energy consumption and Greenhouse gas emission

A "no regret" [] reason for improving energy efficiency is the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) [] emission. There are many studies on economics and environments conclude that energy consumption is in strict accordance with GHGs emission. In Vietnam, energy use is responsible for about 25% CO2 emission and 15% GHGs emission in 1994 (Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, 2003).

Fortunately, the Greenhouse Gas emission of Vietnam is considered to be relatively low. According to UN statistic, Vietnam only generated 0.4% of world GHGs in 2006

Table 2.1: Green house gas emissions by 2006CountryAnnual CO2 emissions

(in thousands of metric tons)

Percentage of total emissions

Australia

372,013

1.3 %

USA

5,752,289

20.2 %

China

6,103,493

21.5 %

India

1,510,351

5.3%

Thailand

272,521

1.0 %

Vietnam

106,132

0.4 %

Source: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), UN

However, because of the pressures from over 86 million population, the shift of economics sectors and the rapidly increase of energy consumption, GHG emission of Vietnam has been increasing steeply. From 2000 to 2005, Vietnam CO2 emission per capital rise nearly 24% to 2.1 tons per capital, much higher than Australia and USA (Table 2.2).

Table 2.2: Per capita greenhouse gas emissions, 2000 and 2005Tonnes of CO2e without land-use [] Growth rate (%)CountryYear 2000Year 2005

Australia

25.6

26.9

5%

USA

24.3

23.5

-3.3%

China

3.9

5.5

41%

India

1.9

1.7

-10.5%

Thailand

4.3

5.6

30%

Vietnam

1.7

2.1

23.5%

Source: Adapted from (WRI, 2009)

Bo sung bieu do Top 12 CO2-Emitting Countries & Their Per-Capita Emissions (2004), trong do co vietnam de so sanh

In longer period, Vietnam's carbon emission has increased steeply since 1990 (at that time, Vietnam became a petroleum export country).

Figure 1.4: Vietnam Total Carbon emission from Consumption of Fossil Fuels1980 to 2006

Sources: EIA, International Energy Annual, US, August 2009

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam (MoNRE), the GHGs sources in Vietnam are categorized into 5 sectors: energy, industry, agriculture, forestry and waste.

Table 2.3: Greenhouse gas emissions of Vietnam by 1994 and 1998Year 1994Year 1998ItemsEquivalent CO2 emission (Mt CO2)PercentageEquivalent CO2 emission (Mt CO2)Percentage

Energy

25.6

24.7

43.2

36

Industry

3.8

3.7

5.6

5

Agriculture

52.4

50.5

57.3

47

Forestry and land-using

19.4

18.7

12.1

10

Waste

2.6

2.4

2.6

2

Total

103.8

100

120.8

100

Source: International Convention Office, MoNRE, 1998

It is noticeable that the Agriculture and Energy sectors generated major GHGs in Vietnam. However, the proportion of agriculture reduced gradually while there was a steady rise of GHGs in energy sector.

In the first report of Vietnam for United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), major GHGs of Vietnam are generated by energy and agriculture sectors. Moreover, after year 2000, the amount of CO2 sequestration in Forestry and Land-using had been higher than the CO2 emission.

Table 2.4: Greenhouse gas emissions of Vietnam by 2010 and 2020 (Million tons CO2 equivalent)Items1994200020102020

Energy

25.64

45.92

105.17

196.98

Forestry

19.38

4.2

-21.7

-28.4

Agriculture

52.45

52.50

57.2

64.7

Source: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), 2006

Vietnam's Environment and Climate Change IssuesGeneral environmental problems in VietnamVietnamese climate characteristics

Vietnam is a tropical country in the South East Asia with 3260 km sea coast stretch from 23o24' North to 8o35' North Latitude. According to the geographic conditions, temperature is considered to rise from the northern to southern and the differences among seasons are also faded gradually. However, the climate in Vietnam depends much on seasonal winds.

The winter Northeast wind is relatively cold and dry.

The Southeast wind is cool and wet. Consequently, it makes high rainfall and even flooding.

The west wind (also called Lao's Wind) which is hot and dry causes drought in the Central.

Vietnam lies in the typhoon centre of the Southeast Asia Sea, which is one of the biggest typhoon centers of the world. Due to coincide of typhoon and rainy seasons, complicated topography floods and typhoons occur very frequent. It is evident that the increasing frequency and magnitude of tropical storms, accompanied by the occurrence of floods, was caused by the rapid climate change (CCFSC, 2005)

Broad climate change issues

Those climate characteristics have existed thousands years ago and people in each region in Vietnam have experiences to co-existence with the severe conditions. However, the weather was becoming less easy to predict and more prone to extremes in recent few decades:

Figure 2.1: Map of Vietnam showing likely impacts of climate change this century

Source: Oxfam international, 2009.

There has been an annual temperature rise of 0.1degrees C per decade between 1931 and 2000, and of between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees C in Vietnam's three main cities (Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh) from 1991 to 2000.

Wide regional variations in rainfall have been recorded, but the annual volume has remained largely stable. However, the localized intensity and unpredictability of the rainfall has increased, causing severe floods.

There have been more droughts in the south in recent years, which have tended to last longer.

Typhoons have reduced in number in the last four decades, but they have become more intense and are tracking southwards.

El Niño/La Niña weather events have become more intense in the last 50 years, causing more typhoons, floods and droughts.

The sea level has risen between 2.5 to 3.0cms per decade in the last 50 years, but with regional variations. A widely-quoted World Bank study in February 2007 estimated that Viet Nam would be one of the top two countries in the world most at risk from a one meter rise in sea level by 2100, and the most at risk in East Asia (Six Climate Threats & Top 12 Countries Most at Risk from Each - Annex 1). Though accounting for only 12% of territory of Vietnam is the home of 23% population, which would be largely inundated by the sea level rise of 1 m in the future as an effect of climate change (Vietnam News, February 7th, 2007).

Those are the results of climate change and they also change the living of most Vietnamese people. "This is particularly worrying as Viet Nam has enjoyed one of the best development records in recent years of any country in the world. It is one of the few countries on track to meet most of its Millennium Development Goals by 2015. It reduced its poverty rate from about 58 per cent of the population in 1993 to 18 per cent in 2006. Such impressive achievements are now at risk"(ADB, 2007)

Vietnam civilian have to get used to irregular temperature, more intense disasters and even rising sea level. However, they are only band-aid solutions. We need long-term solutions toward a sustainable response to climate change. That may begin with a good response policy system to climate change.

List of Acronyms

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

GHGs

Greenhouse Gases

EIA,

International Energy Annual, US

MoNRE

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam

TPEC

Total Primary Energy Consumption

TPES

Total Primary Energy Supply

TOE

Tons of Oil equivalent

UN

United Nation

ANNEX 1Six Climate ThreatsTop 12 Countries Most at Risk from EachDroughtFloodStormCoastal 1mCoastal 5mAgriculture

Malawi

Bangladesh

Philippines

All low-lying Island States

All low-lying Island States

Sudan

Ethiopia

China

Bangladesh

Vietnam

Netherlands

Senegal

Zimbabwe

India

Madagascar

Egypt

Japan

Zimbabwe

India

Cambodia

Vietnam

Tunisia

Bangladesh

Mali

Mozambique

Mozambique

Moldova

Indonesia

Philippines

Zambia

Niger

Laos

Mongolia

Mauritania

Egypt

Morocco

Mauritania

Pakistan

Haiti

China

Brazil

Niger

Eritrea

Sri Lanka

Samoa

Mexico

Venezuela

India

Sudan

Thailand

Tonga

Myanmar

Senegal

Malawi

Chad

Vietnam

China

Bangladesh

Fiji

Algeria

Kenya

Benin

Honduras

Senegal

Vietnam

Ethiopia

Iran

Rwanda

Fiji

Libya

Denmark

Pakistan

Source: World Bank, 2008

REFERENCES

Asian Development Bank (ADB). Asian Development Outlook 2007.

P. Chaudhry and G. Ruysschaert (2007), Climate Change and Human Development in Viet Nam, Human Development Report 2007.

Oxfam Vietnam (2008), Vietnam climate change, adaptation and poor people, October 2008.

R. B. Stewart and J. B. Wiener (2004), Practical climate change policy, Issues in Science and Technology.

J. B. Wiener (2008), Climate change policy and policy change, UCLA Law review.

J. Adler (July 2000), Greenhouse policy without regrets, a free market approach to the uncertain risks of climate change.

W.J. McKibbin and P.J Wilcoxen (2002), The role of economics in climate change, Journal of economic perspectives - volume 16.

Werner Meske1 and Dang Duy Thinh (2000). Research Report: Vietnam's research & development system in the 1990s - Structural and Functional Change.

World Bank (2004). Regional and sectoral studies: Economic Growth, Poverty, and Household Welfare in Vietnam.

Aumnad Phdungsilp (2009). Comparative study of energy and carbon emissions development pathways and climate policy in Southeast Asian cities.

IEA (2009). Key world energy statistic.

IPCC (2007). 4th Assessment Report. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (2009). Climate change, sea lever rise scenarios for Vietnam.

Anh Luu (July 2006). Vietnam legal research.

Nguyen Huu Ninh (April 2007), Vulnerabilities, adaptation and resilience to climate change in Vietnam: Capacity needs.

Michael Waibel (2008). Implications and Challenges of Climate Change for Vietnam. Pacific News Nr. 29. Pages 26-27.

Rajib Shaw (2006). Community-based climate change adaptation in Vietnam: inter-linkages of environment, disaster, and human security.

Article name: Climate Change Policy In Vietnam Environmental Sciences essay, research paper, dissertation